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The Road to Roundabout

  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 I 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 should fail;
  All roads led 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.


Gilbert Keith Chesterton