Robin among the leaves so green
And Marian his summer's queen
Are figures from our childhood's lore,
But also something rather more.
This winner of a hundred fights
And vanquisher of Norman knights
Was partly Saxon England's way
Of saying that, although it may
Have been outplayed on Senlac Hill
Its constant stream was running still,
And would engulf the Norman few,
Submerging them in me and you.
But further still, long, long ago,
Full fifteen hundred years or so,
The man in green pulled on an oar
When first the Saxons reached this shore;
But as he stepped on land, 'twas clear
He was already living here.
Time passed; the new religion came;
The man in green grinned down the same;
And still he grins from vaults of stone
When you would rather be alone.
It's always Summer in his face,
Because he's Time, but also Place.