What Wart thinks of Marian, from "The Sword and the Stone:"
“Robin lay happily with his head in Marian’s lap. She sat between the rootsof the lime tree, clad in a one piece smock of green girded with a quiver ofarrows and her feet and arms were bare. She had let down the brown shiningwaterfall, which was usually kept braided for convience in hunting and cookery,and with the falling waves of this she framed his head. She was singing a duetwith him softly, and tickling the end of his nose with the fine hairs…[the two boys, Kay and Art go with the Merry Men on an adventure]The boys had felt disgruntled at first, at being put in a woman’s band. They would have preferred to have gone with Robin, and thought that being put under Marian was like being trusted to a governess. They soon found their mistake.It was not easy to be a companion of hers. In the first place, it was impossible to keep up with her unless she waited for them-she could move on all fours or even wrigglelike a snake almost as quickly as they could walk- and in the second place shewas an accomplished soldier which they were not. She was a true Weyve-except forher long hair, which most of the female outlaws of those days used to clip. Oneof the bits of advice which she gave them before talking had to be stopped wasthis: Aim high when you shoot in battle, rather than low. A low arrow strikesthe ground, a high one may kill in the second rank.“If I am made to get married,” thought the Wart, who had doubts on the subject, “I will marry a girl like this: a kind of golden vixen.”As a matter of fact, though the boys did not know it, Marian could hoot like an owl by blowing into her fists, or whistle a shrill blast between tongue and teeth with the fingers in the corner of the mouth; could bring all the birds to her by imitating their calls and understand much of their small language; could hit the popinjay twice for every three times of Robin’s; and could turn cartwheels. But none of these accomplishments were necessary at the moment.”
What captivates us ladies so about the legendary figure of Maid Marian?
Marian truly is captivating. I think it's her accomplishments that draw me to her: hooting like an owl, cartwheels, archery?
She's skilled in 'the arts of the forest.' A competent "Merry Man. What girl doesn't envy she who could be described as a "kind of a golden vixen?"
A golden vixen. I personally am utterly captivated by the idea of Robin's 'Greenwood Beauty' (quote from Reynolds) slinking gracefully through the forest; a quiet, highly skilled maiden who manages to steal his heart. She is my role model, the heroine of my current novella, and the famous figure that kindles my imagination in history books and legends alike.
She's also beautiful.
Reynolds, one more time:
With coat of Lincoln-green, and mantle too,
And horn of ivory mouth, and buckle bright,
And arrows winged with peacock feathers light,
And trusty bow well gathered of the yew,
--Stands Robin Hood:
and near, with eyes of blue
Shining thro' dusk hair, like the stars of night,
And habited in pretty forest plight,
--His green-wood beauty sits, young as the dew.
Oh gentle tressed girl! Maid Marian!
The beauty that I see in Marian (excluding the Lucy Griffiths version) is not only physical- she is depicted as having a quiet, sweet, strong demeanor that captures Robin's heart as well as ours.
Even when this week is over, don't think these will be the last posts on Marian.
Marian, I will follow...