Ballad of the Free Archers (Translated by Eugenia Weinstein, June ’99)

If they scour, wicked fellows,
Seeking your unruly pate,
So your thin neck on the gallows
Even thinner could be made, -
Safest refuge, no doubt,
Is the wood: you won't be lost,
If some rat has sold you out
With your guts, at no cost.

All misfits and lonely paupers,
Scornful of a servant's lot,
All unlucky homeless loafers,
So that debt is all they got,-
Every flotsam, every jetsam
Flee to freedom in this wood,
'Cause its master is a handsome
Good old fellow - Robin Hood!

Here they listen to a loner,
Aren't afraid of sharp remarks;
Here they accept with honour
Dare-devils with a spark.
Even noble knights' approach
Is to hide, till time is right, -
No fear and reproach -
But the purse is always light!

All reindeer tracks they know,
Greenwood folks, from first to last,-
Now free archers on the go,
Slavish servants in the past.
Here, the ragged and the poorest
Will be saved and understood,
While he walks around the forest,
This good fellow - Robin Hood!

Merry men, they live and cope
In the face of all taboos,
Never losing heart and hope,
Those archers in the woods.
They would sleep on moss and feather,
Use for blankets starry skies,-
No matter what the weather -
Still alive, and that is nice!

Yet, each sighs of being parted
>From his home and piece of land,
Just before the battle started,
Strokes a bow, his loyal friend.
Better archers can't be found...
And if morrow's any good -
Knows the finest man around:
One good fellow - Robin Hood!


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