The Blacksmiths

By Anonymous

Swarte-smeked smethes, smattered with smoke,
Drive me to deth with den of here dintes:
Swich nois on nightes ne herd men never,
What knavene cry and clattering of knockes!
The cammede kongons cryen after ‘Col! Col!’
And blowen here bellewes that all here brain brestes.
‘Huf, puf,’ saith that on, ‘Haf, paf,’ that other.
They spitten and sprawlen and spellen many spelles,
They gnawen and gnacchen, they groan togedire,
And holden hem hote with here hard hamers.
Of a bole hide ben here barm-felles,
Here shankes ben shackeled for the fere-flunderes.
Hevy hameres they han that hard ben handled,
Stark strokes they striken on a steled stock.
‘Lus, bus, las, das,’ rowten by rowe.
Swiche dolful a dreme the Devil it todrive!
The maistre longeth a litil and lasheth a lesse,
Twineth hem twein and toucheth a treble.
‘Tik, tak, hic, hac, tiket, taket, tik, tak,
Lus, bus, las, das.’ Swich lif they leden,
Alle clothemeres, Christ hem give sorwe!
May no man for brenwateres on night han his rest.