Into the hills of Albion,
Where the golden eagles soar,
Went Arthur to seek special stone,
Red with mysterious ore.
Then deep into the dark forests,
Where old oaken branches fall,
He collected all the timber
Needed to make the charcoal.
Building up a fiery furnace
Till it was white hot, then he
Fed in the broken chunks of ore
And the molten iron ran free.
The iron cooled in a sandy mould,
But not for long left to lie,
Heat and hammer, heat and hammer
Making vivid red sparks fly,
Driving out the brittle demons
Through the strength of Arthur’s arm,
A sword blade began to take shape,
The smith being adept and calm.
Then there came the polishing and
The edge being honed razor keen,
Finally a handle fitted;
A sword where a stone had been.
Friends said, “This must be the devil’s work.”
“Or angels.” Thought a neighbour
“No need of them,” Arthur replied,
“This is the fruit of labour.
“From the dark earth I dug the ore
And fashioned it through my skill,
And at each stage my working made
It ever more precious still.
“I drew this sword out from the stone
By making my hammers sing,
From dross to precious artefact:
And in me labour is king.”