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On the fairest time in June
You may go with sun or moon,
Or the seven stars to light you,
Or the polar ray to right you;
But you never may behold
Little John, or Robin bold;
Never one, of all the clan,
Thrumming on an empty can
Some old hunting ditty, while
He doth his green way beguile
To fair hostess Merriment,
Down beside the pasture Trent;
For he left the merry tale
Messenger for spicy ale.

Gone, the merry morris din;
Gone, the song of Gamelyn :
Gone, the touch-belted outlaw
Idling in the "grené shawe ;"
All are gone away and past !
And if Robin should be cast
Sudden from his tufted grave,
And if Marian should have
Once again her forest days,
She would weep, and he would craze :
He would swear, for all his oaks,
Fall'n beneath the dock-yard strokes,
Have rotted on the briny seas :
She would weep that her wild bees
Sang not to her-strange! that honey
Can't be got without hard money!

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So it is ; yet let us sing Honour to the old bow-string! Honour to the bugle-horn! Honour to the woods unshorn ! Honour to the Lincoln green ! Honour to the archer keen ! Honour to tight little John, And the horse he rode upon ! Honour to bold Robin Hood, Sleeping in the underwood ! Honour to Maid Marian, And to all the Sherwood clan ! Though their days have hurried by, Let us two a burden try.

TO AUTUMN.

SEASON of mists and mellow fruitfulness !

Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun; Conspiring with him how to load and bless

With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core ;

To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel ; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,

For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?

Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,

Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind ; Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep, Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook

Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers ; And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep

Steady thy laden head across a brook ;
Or by a cider-press, with patient look,

Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?

Think not of them, thou hast thy music too, While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,

And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue ; Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn Among the river sallows, born aloft

Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies; And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn ;

Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft,

And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

ODE ON MELANCHOLY.

No, no, go not to Lethe, neither twist

Wolf's-bane, tight-rooted, for its poisonous wine ; Nor suffer thy pale forehead to be kiss'd

By nightshade, ruby grape of Proserpine ;
Make not your rosary of yew-berries,
Nor let the beetle, nor the death-moth be

Your mournful Psyche, nor the downy owl
A partner in your sorrow's mysteries ;
For shade to shade will come too drowsily,

And drown the wakeful anguish of the soul.

But when the melancholy fit shall fall

Sudden from heaven like a weeping cloud,
That fosters the droop-headed flowers all

And hides the green hill in an April shroud ;
Then glut thy sorrow on a morning rose,
Or on the rainbow of the salt sand-wave,

Or on the wealth of globed peonies ;
Or if thy mistress some rich anger shows,
Emprison her soft hand, and let her rave,

And feed deep, deep upon her peerless eyes.

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