David Lewis Paget

(22.11.1944 / Nottingham, England/live in Australia)

The Blacksmith's Hammer


The birds are twittering in the trees
That stand outside my door,
There’s only a pale grey dawning light
‘Til the sun comes up once more,
The clouds are scudding across the sky
In an early sign of rain,
While the one I love went out last night
And never came back again.

She said she’d only be gone an hour
That she had to see the priest,
Her husband’s funeral’s coming up
And she owes him that, at least,
She went to purchase a single plot
So she took my leather purse,
To see what coffins the maker’s got
And arrange a horse-drawn hearse.

She only married a year ago
And her heart is fit to break,
She cried all night when she told me how
It was all a huge mistake,
‘I should have married for love, ’ she said,
‘Then I would have married you,
But I let his money go to my head,
So what is a girl to do? ’

We talked and talked through the early hours,
We talked and talked for a week,
She came unbid to my poster bed
Lay naked under the sheet,
She said she never had tasted love
As sweet as the love I gave,
But I was thinking her husband dead
And soon to go to his grave.

‘You really shouldn’t be seen with me
‘Til he’s safely in the ground,
It wouldn’t be right, the folks would say, ’
But Elizabeth just frowned.
‘A love like this could never be wrong,
Let the gossip-mongers sneer,
I haven’t felt so much love as this
For the best part of a year.’

I said, ‘It must have been terrible
To be losing him so young, ’
And caught a glimpse of a glistening tear
As she put her make-up on,
‘It goes to show how life can go
In the twinkling of an eye, ’
She held my hands, gazed into my eyes,
And let out a heartfelt sigh.

She came back late in the afternoon
With a bundle of receipts,
‘It’s all arranged, we can get engaged
In a month from Tuesday week.
I told him that you had slept with me
And you should have heard him roar,
You’d better wait in the hallway while
He’s beating down your door! ’

My jaw had dropped and my face was white
As I tried to take it in,
‘I thought you told me that he was dead,
Before we indulged in sin! ’
‘He will be soon if you stand and wait
And you want me in your bed,
I borrowed the blacksmith’s hammer for you
To hit him across the head! ’

Submitted: Monday, September 02, 2013
Edited: Tuesday, September 03, 2013

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

3 September 2013

Comments about this poem (The Blacksmith's Hammer by David Lewis Paget )

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  • Noreen Carden (9/15/2013 3:47:00 PM)

    David loved this one it had me riveted all the way and then a comical twist at the end
    brilliant (Report) Reply

Read all 1 comments »

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