Cold Iron

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by Rudyard Kipling

GOLD is for the mistress - silver for the maid' -
Copper for the craftsman cunning at his trade! '
' Good! ' said the Baron, sitting in his hall,
But Iron - Cold Iron - is master of them all.'
So he made rebellion gainst the King his liege,
Camped before his citadel and summoned it to siege.
' Nay! ' said the cannoneer on the castle wall,
' But Iron - Cold Iron - shall be master of you all! '

Woe for the Baron and his knights so strong,
When the cruel cannon-balls laid em all along;
He was taken prisoner, he was cast in thrall,
And Iron - Cold Iron - was master of it all.

Yet his King spake kindly (ah, how kind a Lord!)
' What if I release thee now and give thee back thy sword? '
' Nay! ' said the Baron, ' mock not at my fall,
For Iron - Cold Iron - is master of men all.'

' Tears are for the craven, prayers are for the clown
Halters for the silly neck that cannot keep a crown.'
' As my loss is grievous, So my hope is small,
For Iron - Cold Iron - must be master of men all! '

Yet his King made answer (few such Kings there be!)
' Here is Bread and here is Wine - sit and sup with me.
Eat and drink in Mary s Name, the whiles I do recall
How Iron - Cold Iron - can be master of men all.'

He took the Wine and blessed it. He blessed and brake the Bread
With His own Hands He served Them, and presently He said:
' See! These Hands they pierced with nails, outside My city wall,
Show Iron - Cold Iron - to be master of men all. '

' Wounds are for the desperate, blows are for the strong.
Balm and oil for weary hearts all cut and bruised with wrong.
I forgive thy treason - I redeem thy fall
For Iron Cold Iron - must be master of men all! '

Crowns are for the valiant - sceptres for the bold!
Thrones and Powers for mighty men who dare to take and hold!
' Nay! ' said the Baron, kneeling in his hall,
' But Iron - Cold Iron - is master of men all!
Iron out of Calvary is master of men all! '

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