Mansfield - A poem by Mr S. Gresham Dodsley
Dedicated to the Mayor (Alderman D.H. Maltby, J.P.)
I wandered far afield one summer morn,
Far up the hill that leadeth from the town;
To where broad fields and shady woods adorn
The grassy hills with many a leafy crown.
The sun was slowly rising in the sky,
Down flinging to the earth its golden rays:
Up yonder, in the cloud flecked heavens high,
The lark poured forth its morning song of praise.
Below me lay the slowly waking town
Half hid beneath a haze of curling mist,
Save where a church upraised its lofty crown,
Or where the sun each east-turned window kis’t.
With mingled thoughts upon the scene I gazed,
And noted all the ravage Time had wrought;
The smoky stacks, with dingy heads upraised
Above the ground where dauntless Robin fought.
Perchance, upon the mossy bank, he stood,
A green clad figure with his Saxon bow.
Maybe a stag had weltered in its blood,
Its stately head, by his swift dart, laid low.
But now the ever-moving hand of Time
Has wrought its changes on the quiet scene;
The tangled woods, where ivy loved to climb,
No longer break the moonlight’s silver sheen.
Long, winding streets and dusty roads far flung,
Tall stately spires, and many angled tow’rs,
Rows, rows of houses, mushroom like, have sprung
Along the woodland path and shady bowers.
The shrieking train flies onward o’er its track
Where once woodman’s call long echoes woke;
Above the purple heath coal mine’s stack
Pours forth its reeking cloud of sable smoke.
Methinks if dauntless Robin there had stood
Beside me as I gazed upon the scene,
‘Twould soon have chilled the gladness in his blood
To see tall buildings hide his forest green.
But he has gone, and all his merry band;
No longer will his troop the forest range;
And Sherwood falls beneath man’s mighty hand,
Here customs vanish on the wings of change.
Written by Mr S. Gresham Dodsley 1913