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An Englishman’s Right to Roam

By Sarah Das Gupta


The word roam is itself a promise

which embodies a leisurely freedom,

a Will O’ the Wisp sort of dream,

of wandering through beech woods,

amid the fiery flames of autumn

or winter’s stark refinement.

To gaze at the sculptured lineaments

of the fells on a frosty morning,

or walk on the downland turf,

springy carpet, untrimmed for centuries.

You may camp freely on Dartmoor

sleeping rough beneath the stars.

Wander on lonely pathways

which criss-cross the jigsaw fields.

You may forage for shiny sweet chestnuts

to roast and crack over the fire.

Discover the violet amethysts,

that grow shyly hidden in moss.

Make sure you carefully study a map,

Only ten percent of this green, pleasant land

is open to even the most civilised band!


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