The Smith and the King (Edward Carpenter)

“The Smith and the King” Sheet Music (pdf).
“The Smith and the King” Karaoke (midi with lyrics).

Lyrics: Edward Carpenter.
Tune: “Miller of the Dee.”

A Smith upon a summer’s day
Did call upon a King!
The King exclaimed, “The Queen’s away.
Can I do anything?”
“I pray you can,” the Smith replied;
“I want a bit of bread.”
“Why?” cried the King. The fellow sighed.
“I’m hungry, Sire,” he said.

“Dear me! I’ll call my Chancellor.
He understands such things.
Your claims I cannot cancel or
Deem them fit themes for kings.
“Sir Chancellor, why, here’s a wretch
Starving like rats or mice!”
The Chancellor replied, “I’ll fetch
The First Lord in a trice.”

The First Lord came, and by his look,
You might have guessed he’d shirk.
Said he, “Your Majesty’s mistook.
This is the Chief Clerk’s work.”
The Chief Clerk said, “The case was bad,
But quite beyond his power,
Seeing it was the Steward had
The keys of cake and flour.”

The Steward sobbed, “The keys I’ve lost.
Alas, but in a span,
I’ll call the Smith. Why, Holy Ghost!
Here is the very man.”
“Hurrah! Hurrah!” they loudly cried.
“How cleverly we’ve done it!
We’ve solved this question deep and wide
Well nigh ere we’d begun it.”

“Thanks!” said the Smith. “O fools and vile,
Go rot upon the shelf!
The next time I am starving, I’ll
Take care to help myself.”
And we shall do that very thing the next election day:
We’ll vote to own the wealth we make
And drive the drones away.
Yes, we’ll drive the drones away!

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