The body lay in a mound of hay
That was all piled up by the forge,
He took one look at the butcher’s hook
And the sick rose up in his gorge,
He peered on down at the bloodied face
There was nothing that could be done,
But held his breath when he saw that death
Had taken the blacksmith’s son.
He looked around for a sign of life
But the shop and the forge were cold,
The blacksmith Kirk hadn’t come to work
Though he’d seen him, out in the fold,
And darling Kate would be calling in,
His fate whirled round in his head,
What would she think when she found him there
With the love of her life stone dead?
The villagers knew no love was lost,
They’d fought at the village fete,
All over the hand of the pretty one,
The hand of their darling Kate,
But George was on an apprenticeship
For his father had owned the forge,
While Faber was a farm labourer,
So Kate had gone off with George.
But now George lay in a pile of hay
And he wouldn’t be dating Kate,
So Faber thought that he shouldn’t stay
Though he’d left it a little late.
He didn’t know if they’d seen him come,
He couldn’t be seen to go,
They’d think that he was the only one
To deliver the killer blow.
He heard a rustle within the store
And the sweat broke out on his head,
He knew if somebody found him there
That he’d be better off dead.
He peered silently through the door
And into the corner gloom,
And Kate was sobbing, there on the floor
In the darkest part of the room.
Her bouffant hair was a tangled mess
Her dress was tattered and frayed,
It didn’t take but a single guess
To see the part that she’d played,
For blood was mingling with her tears
Her bodice was stained deep red,
‘He stole my innocence,’ she exclaimed,
‘I hit him just once,’ she said.
Now Faber sits in a darkened cell
To wait for the hangman’s rope,
The Judge had asked, but he wouldn’t tell
So now he’s bereft of hope.
He’d told the court that he’d stumbled in
On the blacksmith’s son, and rape,
And hit him once with a butcher’s hook
For the sake of the darling Kate.
But Kate was strolling with someone new
On the day that they pinned his hands,
And led him up to the gallows floor
To pay for the court’s demands,
She never gave him a thought that day
Though the blacksmith thought he knew,
And lay in wait with a butcher’s hook
As Kate was passing through.
David Lewis Paget