Analysis of Magna Carta
Marriott Edgar 1880 (Kirkcudbright) – 1951 (Battle)
I'll tell of the Magna Charter
As were signed at the Barons' command
On Runningmead Island in t' middle of t' Thames
By King John, as were known as "Lack Land."
Some say it were wrong of the Barons
Their will on the King so to thrust,
But you'll see if you look at both sides of the case
That they had to do something, or bust.
For John, from the moment they crowned him,
Started acting so cunning and sly,
Being King, of course, he couldn't do wrong,
But, by gum, he'd a proper good try.
He squandered the ratepayers' money,
All their cattle and corn did he take,
'Til there wasn't a morsel of bread in the land,
And folk had to manage on cake.
The way he behaved to young Arthur
Went to show as his feelings was bad;
He tried to get Hubert to poke out his eyes,
Which is no way to treat a young lad.
It were all right him being a tyrant
To vassals and folks of that class,
But he tried on his tricks with the Barons an' all,
And that's where he made a 'faux pas'.
He started bombarding their castles,
And burning them over their head,
'Til there wasn't enough castles left to go round,
And they had to sleep six in a bed.
So they went to the King in a body,
And their spokesman, Fitzwalter by name,
He opened the 'ole in his 'elmet and said,
Conciliatory like, " What's the game?"
The King starts to shilly and shally,
He sits and he haws and he hums,
'Til the Barons in rage started gnashing their teeth,
And them with no teeth gnashed their gums
Said Fitz, through the 'ole in his 'elmet,
"It was you as put us in this plight."
And the King having nothing to say to this, murmured
"Leave your address and I'll write".
This angered the gallant Fitzwalter;
He stamped on the floor with his foot,
And were starting to give John a rare ticking off,
When the 'ole in his 'elmet fell shut.
"We'll get him a Magna Charter,"
Said Fitz when his face he had freed;
Said the Barons "That's right and if one's not enough,
Get a couple and happen they'll breed.''
So they set about making a Charter,
When at finish they'd got it drawn up,
It looked like a paper on cattle disease,
Or the entries for t' Waterloo Cup.
Next day, King John, all unsuspecting,
And having the afternoon free,
To Runningmead Island had taken a boat,
And were having some shrimps for his tea.
He'd just pulled the 'ead off a big 'un,
And were pinching its tail with his thumb,
When up came a barge load of Barons, who said,
"We thought you'd be here so we've come"
When they told him they'd brought Magna Charter,
The King seemed to go kind of limp,
But minding his manners he took off his hat
And said " Thanks very much, have a shrimp."
" You'd best sign at once," said Fitzwalter,
" If you don't, I'll tell thee for a start
The next coronation will happen quite soon,
And you won't be there to take part."
So they spread Charter out on t' tea table,
And John signed his name like a lamb,
His writing in places was sticky and thick
Through dipping his pen in the jam.
And it's through that there Magna Charter,
As were signed by the Barons of old,
That in England to-day we can do what we like,
So long as we do what we're told.
|Scheme||ABXB XCXC XDXD EFBF AGXG XXXX XHXH EIHI DJXJ BKXK AXXX ALXL AMXM XEXE XNHN AOXO APXP XQXQ ARXR|
|Poetic Form||Quatrain (89%)|
|Metre||11101010 101101001 11100110111 111101111 111011010 11101111 111111111101 111111011 111010111 101011001 1011111011 111101011 11001010 111001111 111001011001 01111011 011011110 111111011 11111011111 111111011 1011110010 11001111 111111101011 01111011 110010110 01011011 111001101111 011111001 1111010010 0110111 1100101101 01001101 0111101 11011011 101001101011 01111111 11101011 111111011 0011010111110 111011 1100101 11101111 001011101101 10101111 11101010 11111111 101011011101 101001011 1110110010 111011111 11101011001 101011101 11111010 0100011 111011001 001011111 111011011 001011111 11101111011 11111111 1111111010 01111111 11011011111 011101101 1111111 111111101 0101011011 01111111 11110111110 01111101 11001011001 11011001 011111010 101101011 101011111111 11111111|
|Closest metre||Iambic pentameter|
|Stanza Lengths||4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4|
|Letters per line (avg)||31|
|Words per line (avg)||8|
|Letters per stanza (avg)||124|
|Words per stanza (avg)||32|
Submitted on May 13, 2011
- 3:07 min read
- 97 Views
Use the citation below to add this poem analysis to your bibliography:
"Magna Carta" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 31 Mar. 2023. <https://www.poetry.com/poem-analysis/26573/magna-carta>.
Discuss this Marriott Edgar poem analysis with the community:
We're doing our best to make sure our content is useful, accurate and safe.
If by any chance you spot an inappropriate comment while navigating through our website please use this form to let us know, and we'll take care of it shortly.
You need to be logged in to favorite.