Between the 1780s and the 1820s, Britain would transition from the solar-powered Holocene into the fossil-powered Anthropocene, seemingly motivated by new visions of the value of coal. King Coal’s Levee (1818) by John Scafe is one piece of literary culture that helped facilitate the transition to coal and Britain’s transformation into a fossil leviathan. Scafe’s poem, now mostly forgotten, was curiously popular between 1819 and 1820, going through four editions and the addition of extensive scientific notes by Oxford geologists William Buckland and William Daniel Conybeare. King Coal’s Levee helped create petroaesthetics whereby coal was not merely the fuel of the “English fire” but also the inexhaustible key to hegemony, sovereignty, and the future of the British nation.