[words Rudyard Kipling, music Peter Bellamy]
The Anvil is one of twenty-three poems written by Rudyard Kipling for C.R.L. Fletcher's A School History of England (1911).
Peter Bellamy sang The Anvil in 1989 on his album Rudyard Kipling Made Exceedingly Good Songs. He commented in the sleeve notes:
Under the title William the Conqueror's Work this straight-forward piece was written for Fletcher's School History.
(Norman Conquest, 1066)
England's on the anvil—hear the hammers ring—
Clanging from the Severn to the Tyne!
Never was a blacksmith like our Norman King—
England's being hammered, hammered, hammered into line.
England's on the anvil! Heavy are the blows!
(But the work will be a marvel when it's done.)
Little bits of Kingdoms cannot stand against their foes.
England's being hammered, hammered, hammered into one!
There shall be one people—it shall serve one Lord—
(Neither Priest nor Baron shall escape!)
It shall have one speech and law, soul and strength and sword.
England's being hammered, hammered, hammered into shape!