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Richard the First, Coeur-de-Lion, Is a name that we speak of with pride, Though he only lived six months in England From his birth to the day that he died. He spent all his time fighting battles, Dressed up in most rigid attire, For he had his suits made by the Blacksmith, And his underwear knitted of wire. He married a lady from Flanders, Berengaria’s what they called her; She turned out a good wife to Richard, In spite of a name like that there. For when he came home from his fighting She’d bandage the wounds in his sconce, And every time a snake bit him She’d suck out the poison at once. In their ’ouse they’d a minstrel called Blondel To amuse them at t’end of the day’ And the King had but one thing against him... He had nobbut one tune he could play. The Queen saw nowt wrong with the number And would have it again and again, And when Richard said: ”Put a sock in it!” She’d give ’im a look full of pain. The King got fed up at the finish, And were so sick of ’earing it played, That he packed his spare suit on a wagon And went off and joined the Crusade. He got fighting the moment he landed, And though Saracen lads did their best, He cut off their heads in such numbers, That the hatmakers lodged a protest. The Sultan, whose name were Saladin, Thought he’d best try this business to stem, So he rode up to Richard and told him He mustn’t do that there to them. Said Richard: ”Oh! Who’s going to stop me?” Said Saladin: ”I will-and quick!” So the King poked his sword at the Sultan, Who, in turn, swiped his skimpter at Dick. They fought all that day without ceasing; They fought till at last they both saw That each was a match for the other, So they chucked it and called it a draw. As Richard rode home in the moonlight He heard someone trying to croon, And there by the roadside stood Blondel, Still playing his signature tune. He’d worked out his passage from England In search of his Master and Lord, And had swum the last part of the journey ’Cos his tune got ’im thrown overboard. This meeting filled Richard with panic: He rode off and never drew rein Till he got past the Austrian border And felt he could breathe once again. He hid in a neighbouring Castle, But he hadn’t been there very long When one night just outside his window Stood Blondel, still singing his song. This ’ere took the heart out of Richard; He went home dejected and low, And the very next fight he got into He were killed without striking a blow.
Marriott Edgar's other poems:
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