Picture courtesy of Norman Rockwell. Picture link.


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Mick Coyle


The calling of St Crispin

Copyright © 2007 Mick Coyle


On this the night of St Crispin, the calling can be heard.

The followers are summoned, with out a single word

The gathering is nigh, their orders are sealed

Across the land they journey to the mystic land of Sheffield.


Their flight is treacherous and takes many a day

All will not survive as some falter along the way

Their bodies will fall in the gutter of mankind

But the calling is strong, their destination they must find.


The noise can be heard as their journey begins

The clunk of club foot and the squeak of false limbs

With Charlie on back, old and infirm

Bodies all aching and legs full of woodworm.


The ones who fall their bodies rot and decay

Their limbs to tarnish and rust away

The buzzards they circle high over head

Ready to feast on St Crispin’s dead.


Dressed in ritual attire all fresh from the hock

Their shiny new nippers and their newly ironed smock

Motif; last and crossed hammer, worn with dignity and pride

Dedication beyond reason, a refusal to hide.


The old ones remember the day’s long gone bye

Apprentice to Heel-a-matt, when they first heard the cry.

Balf Street is no more, just memories of old

The old men lament, the young must be told.


At Healy’s, they venture, their debit to pay

And kneel to their deity, give credit they pray

Robin stands firm but Tim gives way

They live to cobble another day.


With stock in hand, they make for their beds

Some to their hovel and some to their sheds

This being St Crispin’s way to purge the feeble and weak

The perfect cobbler his goal to seek.