Home  »  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895  »  Melting of the Earl’s Plate

Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

George Walter Thornbury 1828–76

Melting of the Earl’s Plate

HERE’S the gold cup all bossy with satyrs and saints,

And my race-bowl (now, women, no whining and plaints!)

From the platriest spoon to the costliest thing,

We ’ll melt it all down for the use of the king.

Here ’s the chalice stamp’d over with sigil and cross,—

Some day we ’ll make up to the chapel the loss.

Now bring me my father’s great emerald ring,

For I ’ll melt down the gold for the good of the king.

And bring me the casket my mother has got,

And the jewels that fall to my Barbara’s lot;

Then dry up your eyes and do nothing but sing,

For we ’re helping to coin the gold for the king.

This dross we ’ll transmute into weapons of steel,

Temper’d blades for the hand, sharpest spurs for the heel;

And when Charles, with a shout, into London we bring,

We ’ll be glad to remember this deed for the king.

Bring the hawk’s silver bells and the nursery spoon,

The crucible’s ready—we ’re nothing too soon;

For I hear the horse neigh that shall carry the thing

That ’ll bring up a smile in the eyes of the king.

There go my old spurs, and the old silver jug,—

’T was just for a moment a pang and a tug;

But now I am ready to dance and to sing,

To think I ’ve thrown gold in the chest of my king.

The earrings lose shape, and the coronet too,

I feel my eyes dim with a sort of a dew.

Hurrah for the posset dish!—Everything

Shall run into bars for the use of the king.

That spoon is a sword, and this thimble a pike;

It ’s but a week’s garret in London belike—

Then a dash at Whitehall, and the city shall ring

With the shouts of the multitude bringing the king.