Marriott Edgar ( )

Queen Matilda

Henry the first, surnamed  Beauclare, 
Lost his only son William at sea,
So when Henry died it were hard to decide 
Who his heir and successor should be.

There were two runners-up for the title- 
His daughter Matilda was one,
And the other, a boy, known as Stephen of Blois, 
His young sister Adelas son.

Matilda by right should have had it,
Being daughter of him as were dead,
But the folks wasnt keen upon having a queen, 
So they went and crowned Stephen instead.

This ere were a knockout for Tilda,
The notion she could not absorb
To lose at one blow both the crown and the throne,
To say naught of the sceptre and orb.

So she summoned her friends in tWest Country
From Bristol, Bath, Gloucester and Frome,
And also a lot of relations from Scotland, 
Whod come South and wouldnt go home.

The East Counties rallied round Stephen, 
Where his cause had support of the masses,
And his promise of loot brought a lot of recruits
From the more intellectual classes.

The Country were split in two parties
In a manner youd hardly believe, 
The West with a will shouted: Up with Matilda ! 
The East hollered: Come along, Steve!

The two armies met up in Yorkshire, 
Both leaders the same tactics tried.
To each soldier they gave a big standard to wave, 
In hopes theyd impress t other side.

It were known as the battle ot Standard, 
Though no battling anyone saw,
For with flags in their right hands, the lads couldnt fight, 
And the referee called it a draw.

The next time they met were at Lincoln, 
Where Stephen were properly beat,
At the end of the scrap he were led off a captive, 
With iron balls chained to his feet.

They took him in triumph to Tilda, 
Who, assuming an arrogant mien,
Snatched the Crown off his head and indignantly said
Take your at off in front of your Queen!

So Stephen were put in a dungeon, 
While Tilda ascended the throne
And reigned undisturbed for best part of a year,
Till she looked on the job as her own.

But Stephen werent beat by a long chalk 
His plans for escape he soon made,
For he found Tildas troops were all getting fed up,
Having heard that they wouldnt be paid.

So when Tilda got snowed up at Oxford, 
Where shed taken to staying of late,
She woke one fine morn, to the sound of a horn,
And found Stephen outside her front gate.

Her troops gone, her castle surrounded, 
She saw she hadnt a chance,
So, the ground being white, she escaped in her nightie
And caught the next packet for France.

She didnt do badly at finish,
When everythings weighed up and reckoned
For when Stephen was gone the next heir to the throne
Were Matildas son, Henry the second.

Marriott Edgar's other poems:
  1. Alberts Return
  2. Henry the Seventh
  3. Albert and the Eadsman
  4. Richard Coeur-de-Lion
  5. The Magna Charter

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