William Motherwell

(1797-1835 / Scotland)

The Forester's Carol - Poem by William Motherwell

Lusty Hearts ! to the wood, to the merry green wood,
While the dew with strung pearls loads each blade,
And the first blush of dawn brightly streams o'er the lawn,
Like the smile of a rosy-cheeked maid.

Our horns with wild music ring glad through each shaw,
And our broad arrows rattle amain ;
For the stout bows we draw, to the green woods give law,
And the Might is the Right once again !

Mark yon herds, as they brattle and brush down the glade ;
Pick the fat, let the lean rascals go,
Under favor 'tis meet that we tall men should eat,—
Nock a shaft and strike down that proud doe !

Well delivered, parfay ! convulsive she leaps'—
One bound more,—then she drops on her side ;
Our steel hath bit smart the life-strings of her heart,
And cold now lies the green forest's pride.

Heave her up, and away !—should any base churl
Dare to ask why we range in this wood,
There's a keen arrow yare, in eacl1 broad belt to spare,
That will answer the knave in his blood !

Then forward, my Hearts ! like the bold reckless breeze
Our life shall whirl on in mad glee ;
The long bows we bend, to the world's latter end,
Shall be borne by the hands of the Free !

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, October 13, 2010

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