Cold Iron

(notes by Donald Mackenzie)


Published with “Cold Iron” the first story in Rewards and Fairies (1910).

Notes on the Text

[line 25] He took the Wine: See the accounts in the New Testament of Jesus’s institution of the Eucharist, commonly called  ‘Holy Communion’:. [D.H.]

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it   (Matthew 26.26-27)

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it. (Mark 14:22-23)

And he took bread, and hwhen he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, k“This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, k“This cup that is poured out for you is lthe new mcovenant in my blood. (Luke 22, 19-20)

After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood; this do, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
(1 Cor. 11, 25.)

Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou, knowing that it was the Lord.
Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise. (
John 21, 12-13)

And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. (Luke 24, 30)

[line 27] outside my city wall: cf. the hymn by Cecil Alexander (1847):

‘There is a green hill far away,
Outside a city wall…’

and Heb. 13, 12:

Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.

[line 27-8]  See these hands they pierced with nails:   Reference to the wounds in the resurrected Christ’s body is found only in the story of doubting Thomas, at John 20.19-29.[D.H.]

[line 30] Balm and oil:

Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there ? why then is the health of the daughter of my people not recovered ?
[Jer. 8, 22]
But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and
when he saw him, he had compassion on him.
And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine …

[Luke 10, 33-4]

[line 34] thrones and powers:   See the notes on ‘Cities and Thrones and Powers’,   ‘France’, and ‘Things and the Man‘,




©Donald Mackenzie 2020 All rights reserved