The Road to Roundabout

G.K. Chesterton

    SOME say that Guy of Warwick
      The man that killed the Cow,
    And brake the mighty Boar alive
      Beyond the bridge at Slough;
    Went up against a Loathly Worm
      That wasted all the Downs,
    And so the roads they twist and squirm
      (If a may be allowed the term)
    From the writhing of the stricken Worm
      That died in seven towns.
         I see no scientific proof
         That this idea is sound,
         And I should say they wound about
         To find the town of Roundabout,
         The merry town of Roundabout,
         That makes the world go round.

    Some say that Robin Goodfellow,
      Whose lantern lights the meads
    (To steal a phrase Sir Walter Scott
      In heaven no longer needs),
    Such dance around the trysting-place
      The moonstruck lover leads;
    Which superstition I should scout
      There is more faith in honest doubt
    (As Tennyson has pointed out)
      Than in those nasty creeds.
         But peace and righteousness (St John)
         In Roundabout can kiss,
         And since that's all that's found about
         The pleasant town of Roundabout,
         The roads they simply bound about
         To find out where it is.

    Some say that when Sir Lancelot
      Went forth to find the Grail,
    Grey Merlin wrinkled up the roads
      For hope that he would fail;
    All roads lead back to Lyonesse
      And Camelot in the Vale,
    I cannot yield assent to this
      Extravagant hypothesis,
    The plain, shrewd Briton will dismiss
      Such rumours (Daily Mail).
         But in the streets of Roundabout
         Are no such factions found,
         Or theories to expound about,
         Or roll upon the ground about,
         In the happy town of Roundabout,
         That makes the world go round.

         G. K. Chesterton

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Last modified: 17th January, 2020
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