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The Rolling English Road
THE ROLLING ENGLISH ROAD1
By G. K. Chesterton
Before the Roman came to Rye or out to Severn strode, The rolling English drunkard made the rolling English
road. 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 desire, But I did bash their baggonets because they came arrayed To straighten out the crooked road an English drunkard
made, Where you and I went down the lane with ale mugs in
our hands The night we went to Glastonbury by way of Goodwin
Sands.
His sins they were forgiven him ; or why do flowers run Behind him ; and the hedges all strengthening in the sun ? The wild thing went from left to right and knew not
which was which, But the wild rose was above him when they found him
in the ditch.
1 From " The Flying Inn."                                        161
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