David Lewis Paget
The Haughty Cavaliers - Poem by David Lewis Paget
They came by the Inn that morning,
A troop of Cavaliers,
With their swords and buckles shining,
And ringlets round their ears,
They called to the simple stable boy
To attend without delay,
To feed and water their horses,
The King would be there today.
They kicked the Inn door open
With boots that came to the knee,
Demanded an instant pottage
For the troop of twenty three,
‘So get your wife to the kitchen,
Your daughter up to the bar,
By serving us you will serve your King, ’
They said to the Inn-Keeper.
They crowded into the tap room,
Where Molly was serving ale,
Made rude and haughty gestures
‘Til the girl had turned quite pale,
Their empty steins were flung at the hearth
And shattered, over the stair,
The Inn to them was beneath contempt
With its simple peasant fare.
The wife served up a ploughman’s lunch
Of wheaten bread and cheese,
They snatched and curled their lips at it
And not one mentioned ‘Please! ’
They tore an edict of Parliament
That was hanging over the bar,
And held it over a candle ‘til
The ash was spread on the floor.
‘We have us an act of treason here, ’
The Captain said to his men,
‘What shall we do with an Inn-Keeper
Who favours Parliament? ’
They dragged him out to the stable yard
And hung him high on a tree,
Dragged the wife and the daughter out
As he died, so they could see.
‘God rot you each and every one, ’
The wife screamed out in pain,
‘I curse your colours and curse a King
That could be so cruel - For shame! ’
They held the daughter and dragged the wife
Out of sight, in alarm,
Despatched her with a rusty pike
And then set fire to the barn.
The soldiers started to fall about,
Were throwing up, and pale,
While Molly shrieked, ‘How did you like
My Belladonna Ale? ’
They still were there when a troop rode up
Of Cromwell’s Ironsides,
Who slaughtered the King’s own troop that day
As the daughter sat, and cried.
18 October 2013
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