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A Plain Direction.

Thomas Hood 1799 (London) – 1845 (London)



"Do you never deviate?"
John Bull.


In London once I lost my way
In faring to and fro,
And ask'd a little ragged boy
The way that I should go;

He gave a nod, and then a wink,
And told me to get there
"Straight down the Crooked Lane,
And all round the Square."

I box'd his little saucy ears,
And then away I strode;
But since I've found that weary path
Is quite a common road.

Utopia is a pleasant place,
But how shall I get there?
"Straight down the Crooked Lane,
And all round the Square."

I've read about a famous town
That drove a famous trade,
Where Whittington walk'd up and found
A fortune ready made.

The very streets are paved with gold;
But how shall I get there?
"Straight down the Crooked Lane,
And all round the Square."

I've read about a Fairy Land,
In some romantic tale,
Where Dwarfs if good are sure to thrive
And wicked Giants fail.

My wish is great, my shoes are strong,
But how shall I get there?
"Straight down the Crooked Lane,
And all round the Square."

I've heard about some happy Isle,
Where ev'ry man is free,
And none can lie in bonds for life
For want of L. S. D.

Oh that's the land of Liberty!
But how shall I get there?
"Straight down the Crooked Lane,
And all round the Square,"

I've dreamt about some blessed spot,
Beneath the blessed sky,
Where Bread and Justice never rise
Too dear for folks to buy.

It's cheaper than the Ward of Cheap,
But how shall I get there?
"Straight down the Crooked Lane,
And all round the Square."

They say there is an ancient House,
As pure as it is old,
Where Members always speak their minds
And votes are never sold.

I'm fond of all antiquities,
But how shall I get there?
"Straight down the Crooked Lane,
And all round the Square."

They say there is a Royal Court
Maintain'd in noble state,
Where ev'ry able man, and good,
Is certain to be great!

I'm very fond of seeing sights,
But how shall I get there?
"Straight down the Crooked Lane,
And all round the Square."

They say there is a Temple too,
Where Christians come to pray;
But canting knaves and hypocrites,
And bigots keep away.

Oh that's the parish church for me!
But how shall I get there?
"Straight down the Crooked Lane,
And all round the Square."

They say there is a Garden fair,
That's haunted by the dove,
Where love of gold doth ne'er eclipse
The golden light of love -

The place must be a Paradise,
But how shall I get there?
"Straight down the Crooked Lane,
And all round the Square."

I've heard there is a famous Land
For public spirit known -
Whose Patriots love its interests
Much better than their own.

The Land of Promise sure it is!
But how shall I get there?
"Straight down the Crooked Lane,
And all round the Square."

I've read about a fine Estate,
A Mansion large and strong;
A view all over Kent and back,
And going for a song.

George Robins knows the very spot,
But how shall I get there?
"Straight down the Crooked Lane,
And all round the Square."

I've heard there is a Company
All formal and enroll'd,
Will take your smallest silver coin
And give it back in gold.

Of course the office door is mobb'd,
But how shall I get there?
"Straight down the Crooked Lane,
And all round the Square."

I've heard about a pleasant Land,
Where omelettes grow on trees,
And roasted pigs run crying out,
"Come eat me, if you please."

My appetite is rather keen,
But how shall I get there?
"Straight down the Crooked Lane,
And all round the Square."
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Submitted on August 03, 2020

3:27 min read
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Quick analysis:

Scheme ax bcxc xdED xfxf xDED xgxg hDED ijxj kDED xlxl lDED mnxn xDED xhxh oDED xaxa xDED xbxb lDED dpxp xDED iqxq xDED akxk mDED lhxh xDED ioxo xDED
Closest metre Iambic trimeter
Characters 3,347
Words 684
Stanzas 29
Stanza Lengths 2, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4

Thomas Hood

Thomas Hood was a British humorist and poet. His son, Tom Hood, became a well known playwright and editor. more…

All Thomas Hood poems | Thomas Hood Books

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1 Comment
  • jameelah
    I’m 91 and have memories of learning this poem at school, so glad to be able to relearn the words.
    LikeReplyReport 11 year ago

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"A Plain Direction." Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 9 Feb. 2023. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/56764/a-plain-direction.>.

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