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










Comments about this page

  • Reading this poem is like taking time to stop and smell the flowers. The poem has true meaning, and is well worthy of a page on this site. I was reading a list of the streets in Mansfield in 1925. And of course Maltby Road was not there.  Would it be the same Alderman Maltby who is honoured with having the street named after him for his work in the town? The street named Maltby Road was built in 1935. Or did his work take 22 years to be acknowledged ?

    By alan curtis (10/01/2013)

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