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Cold Iron

by
 Cold is for the mistress -- silver for the maid --
Copper for the craftsman cunning at his trade.
" "Good!" said the Baron, sitting in his hall, "But Iron -- Cold Iron -- is master of them all.
" So he made rebellion 'gainst the King his liege, Camped before his citadel and summoned it to siege.
"Nay!" said the cannoneer on the castle wall, "But Iron -- Cold Iron -- shall be master for you all!" Woe for the Baron and his knights so strong, When the cruel cannon-balls laid 'em all along; He was taken prisoner, he was cast in thrall, And Iron -- Cold Iron -- was master of it all! Yet his King spake kindly (ah, how kind a Lord!) "What if I release thee now and give thee back thy sword?" "Nay!" said the Baron, "mock not at my fall, For Iron -- Cold Iron -- is master of men all.
" "Tears are for the craven, prayers are for the clown -- Halters for the silly neck that cannot keep a crown.
" "As my loss is grievous, so my hope is small, For Iron -- Cold Iron -- must be master of men all!" Yet his King made answer (few such Kings there be!) "Here is Bread and here is Wine -- sit and sup with me.
Eat and drink in Mary's Name, the whiles I do recall How Iron -- Cold Iron -- can be master of men all!" He took the Wine and blessed it.
He blessed and brake the Bread, With His own Hands He served Them, and presently He said: "See! These Hands they pierced with nails, outside My city wall, Show Iron -- Cold Iron -- to be master of men all.
" "Wounds are for the desperate, blows are for the strong.
Balm and oil for weary hearts all cut and bruised with wrong.
I forgive thy treason -- I redeem thy fall -- For Iron -- Cold Iron -- must be master of men all!" "Crowns are for the valiant -- sceptres for the bold! Thrones and powers for mighty men who dare to take and hold.
" "Nay!" said the Baron, kneeling in his hall, "But Iron -- Cold Iron -- is master of men all! Iron out of Calvary is master of men all!"

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