Friday, May 11, 2012

All in the Forest Blythe

The Woodman's Song
by Thomas Cooper

I would not be a crownèd king,
For all his gaudy gear;
I would not be that pampered thing,
His gew-gaw gold to wear:
But I would be where I can sing
Right merrily, all the year;
Where forest treen,
All gay and green,
Full blythely do me cheer.

I would not be a gentleman,
For all his hawks and hounds,—
For fear the hungry poor should ban
My halls and wide-parked grounds:
But I would be a merry man,
Among the wild wood sounds,—
Where free birds sing,
And echoes ring
While my axe from the oak rebounds.

I would not be a shaven priest,
For all his sloth-won tythe:
But while to me this breath is leased,
And these old limbs are lithe,—
Ere Death hath marked me for his feast,
And felled me with his scythe,—
I'll troll my song,
The leaves among,
All in the forest blythe.

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