If pursuers now are sniffing After your unruly head, With a noose to make you thinner Right along your skinny neck, If your life was sold by someone For a broken copper piece, There’s no better safer haven Than the woods for you to seek. Every never-was and beggar, Who despised his servant’s lot, Those whose debts are getting greater, Every homeless vagabond, Those who’re hunted and who’re flustered - All seek cover in this wood, For this forest has its master - Gallant fellow Robin Hood! Here they talk on equal level, Sharp-tongued words are in effect; Here the reckless daredevils Held in honor and respect. Here you hide when life gets brutal, Even knights are on the run. With no fear, beyond reproval? Then you’re always short of funds. They know well the trails game favors, Like the backs of their own hands, Former servants and retainers, Now the archers of free lands! Here, the one who’s lost his income Gets protection, rest assured. For he strolls this forest kingdom - Gallant fellow Robin Hood! They go on with their small living, Disregarding laws and rules. They know not despair or grieving, These free archers of the woods. Starry skies they use for cover, Moss beneath the ribs will do. It gets cold, but they get tougher: You’re alive - that’s good for you! But they sigh in desperation, Separated from their land; They’re engaged in preparation: Every bow is honed by hand. You won’t witness better archers. Will their next day be as good? Hear the world’s best-shooting marksman - Gallant fellow Robin Hood!
© Kirill Tolmachev. Translation, 2022