Queen Matilda

Marriott Edgar 1880 (Kirkcudbright) – 1951 (Battle)



Henry the first, surnamed " Beauclare,"
Lost his only son William at sea,
So when Henry died it were hard to decide
Who his heir and successor should be.

There were two runners-up for the title-
His daughter Matilda was one,
And the other, a boy, known as Stephen of Blois,
His young sister Adela's son.

Matilda by right should have had it,
Being daughter of him as were dead,
But the folks wasn't keen upon having a queen,
So they went and crowned Stephen instead.

This 'ere were a knockout for Tilda,
The notion she could not absorb
To lose at one blow both the crown and the throne,
To say naught of the sceptre and orb.

So she summoned her friends in t'West Country
From Bristol, Bath, Gloucester and Frome,
And also a lot of relations from Scotland,
Who'd come South and wouldn't go home.

The East Counties rallied round Stephen,
Where his cause had support of the masses,
And his promise of loot brought a lot of recruits
From the more intellectual classes.

The Country were split in two parties
In a manner you'd hardly believe,
The West with a will shouted: "Up with Matilda !"
The East hollered: Come along, Steve!

The two armies met up in Yorkshire,
Both leaders the same tactics tried.
To each soldier they gave a big standard to wave,
In hopes they'd impress t 'other side.

It were known as the battle o't Standard,
Though no battling anyone saw,
For with flags in their right hands, the lads couldn't fight,
And the referee called it a draw.

The next time they met were at Lincoln,
Where Stephen were properly beat,
At the end of the scrap he were led off a captive,
With iron balls chained to his feet.

They took him in triumph to Tilda,
Who, assuming an arrogant mien,
Snatched the Crown off his head and indignantly said
"Take your 'at off in front of your Queen!"

So Stephen were put in a dungeon,
While Tilda ascended the throne
And reigned undisturbed for best part of a year,
Till she looked on the job as her own.

But Stephen weren't beat by a long chalk
His plans for escape he soon made,
For he found Tilda's troops were all getting fed up,
Having heard that they wouldn't be paid.

So when Tilda got snowed up at Oxford,
Where she'd taken to staying of late,
She woke one fine morn, to the sound of a horn,
And found Stephen outside her front gate.

Her troops gone, her castle surrounded,
She saw she hadn't a chance,
So, the ground being white, she escaped in her nightie
And caught the next packet for France.

She didn't do badly at finish,
When everything's weighed up and reckoned
For when Stephen was gone the next heir to the throne
Were Matilda's son, Henry the second.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on April 24, 2023

2:29 min read
107

Quick analysis:

Scheme ABCB XDBD XEFE GHIH AJKJ DLXL XMGM ACXC NXXA DOXO GFEF DIAI XPXP NQXQ XRCR XKID
Closest metre Iambic pentameter
Characters 2,564
Words 485
Stanzas 16
Stanza Lengths 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4

Marriott Edgar

Marriott Edgar October 5th 1880 - May 5th 1951 born George Marriot Edgar in Kirkcudbright Scotland was a poet scriptwriter and comedian best known for writing many of the monologues performed by Stanley Holloway particularly the Albert series In total he wrote 16 Stanley Holloway monologues whilst Holloway himself wrote only 5 His parents were Jennifer nee Taylor a native of Dundee and Richard Horatio Edgar only son of Alice Marriott Mrs Robert Edgar proprietor of the Marriott family theatre troupe Richard had two sisters Grace and Adeline Marriott All took their stepfathers surname Edgar more…

All Marriott Edgar poems | Marriott Edgar Books

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