Gilbert Keith Chesterton.
BEFORE the Roman came to Rye or out to Severn strode,
The rolling English drunkard made the rolling
A reeling road, a rolling road, that rambles round the shire,
And after him the parson ran,
the sexton and the squire;
A merry road, a mazy road, and such as we did tread
The night we went to
Birmingham by way of Beachy Head.
I knew no harm of Bonaparte and plenty of the Squire,
And for to fight the Frenchman I did not much
But I did bash their baggonets because they came arrayd
To straighten out the crooked road an
Where you and I went down the lane with ale-mugs in our
The night we
went to Glastonbury by way of Goodwin
His sins they were forgiven him; or why do flowers run
Behind him; and the hedges all strengthening in the
The wild thing went from left to right and knew not which
But the wild rose was above
him when they found him in the
God pardon us, nor harden us; we did not see so clear
The night we
went to Bannockburn by way of Brighton Pier.
My friends, we will not go again or ape an ancient rage,
Or stretch the folly of our youth to be the shame
But walk with clearer eyes and ears this path that wandereth,
And see undruggd in evening light
the decent inn of death;
For there is good news yet to hear and fine things to be seen,
Before we go to
Paradise by way of Kensal Green.
WHEN fishes flew and forests walkd
And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon
Then surely I was born;
With monstrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings,
The devils walking parody
all four-footed things.
The tatterd outlaw of the earth,
Of ancient crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
keep my secret still.
Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my
And palms before my feet.