Excerpt from The Monk’s Second Tale:
Emerging from amongst the forest trees
Like autumn leaves upon the Sherwood breeze,
The bandits formed a ring around their prey--
A portly man whose threadbare cape of gray
Was pitted full of holes bespeaking wear.
He shed his hood, revealing tonsured hair
And features bronzed and burnished by the sun--
As brown as is an Easter hot-crossed-bun.
Yet florid were his cheeks, with veins of red,
Which told on beer and wine he’d often fed.
“My name,” the man announced, “is Friar Tuck,
And trusting to the will of God and luck,
I seek one Robin Hood, for in this shire
A weird contagion soon shall spread like fire
Amongst the Sheriff’s men, creating strife,
Then bringing those infected back to life.”
And pointing to his leper’s bell, he said,
“Although this trinket might attract the dead
It keeps away that murd’rous knight named Guy
Who brought this dreaded sickness from the dry
And dusty lands where Richard now crusades--
From one of our unholy, bloody raids.”