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The collected poems of James Elroy Flecker/The Ballad of Hampstead Heath

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The Ballad of Hampstead Heath


From Heaven's Gate to Hampstead Heath
  Young Bacchus and his crew
Came tumbling down, and o'er the town
  Their bursting trumpets blew.

The silver night was wildly bright,
  And madly shone the Moon
To hear a song so clear and strong,
  With such a lovely tune.

From London's houses, huts and flats,
  Came busmen, snobs, and Earls,
And ugly men in bowler hats
  With charming little girls.

Sir Moses came with eyes of flame,
  Judd, who is like a bloater,
The brave Lord Mayor in coach and pair,
  King Edward, in his motor.

Far in a rosy mist withdrawn
  The God and all his crew,
Silenus pulled by nymphs, a faun,
  A satyr drenched in dew,

Smiled as they wept those shining tears
  Only Immortals know,
Whose feet are set among the stars,
  Above the shifting snow.

And one spake out into the night,
  Before they left for ever,
"Rejoice, rejoice!" and his great voice
  Rolled like a splendid river.

He spake in Greek, which Britons speak
  Seldom, and circumspectly;
But Mr. Judd, that man of mud,
  Translated it correctly.

And when they heard that happy word,
  Policemen leapt and ambled :
The busmen pranced, the maidens danced,
  The men in bowlers gambolled.

A wistful Echo stayed behind
  To join the mortal dances,
But Mr. Judd, with words unkind,
  Rejected her advances.


And passing down through London Town
  She stopped, for all was lonely,
Attracted by a big brass plate
  Inscribed, FOR MEMBERS ONLY.

And so she went to Parliament,
  But those ungainly men
Woke up from sleep, and turned about,
  And fell asleep again.