The Saracen's Head

From PubNight

Rather than just give the poem, as is usual, I thought I'd include a bit of context. So, here it is - from The Flying Inn by G K Chesterton

"I think it's serious this time," said his friend, shaking his big red head. "This is the last inn on this coast, and will soon be the last inn in England. Do you remember the 'Saracen's Head' in Plumsea, along the shore there?"

"I know," assented the innkeeper. "My aunt was there when he hanged his mother; but it's a charming place."

"I passed there just now; and it has been destroyed," said Dalroy.

"Destroyed by fire?" asked Pump, pausing in his gun-scrubbing.

"No," said Dalroy, "destroyed by lemonade. They've taken away its license or whatever you call it. I made a song about it, which I'll sing to you now!" And with an astounding air of suddenly revived spirits, he roared in a voice like thunder the following verses, to a simple but spirited tune of his own invention:

"The Saracen's Head looks down the lane,
Where we shall never drink wine again;
For the wicked old Women who feel well-bred
Have turned to a tea-shop the Saracen's Head.

"The Saracen's Head out of Araby came,
King Richard riding in arms like flame,
And where he established his folk to be fed
He set up his spear--and the Saracen's Head.

"But the Saracen's Head outlived the Kings,
It thought and it thought of most horrible things;
Of Health and of Soap and of Standard Bread,
And of Saracen drinks at the Saracen's Head."

"Hullo!" cried Pump, with another low whistle. "Why here comes his lordship. And I suppose that young man in the goggles is a Committee or something."

"Let him come," said Dalroy, and continued in a yet more earthquake bellow:

"So the Saracen's Head fulfils its name,
They drink no wine--a ridiculous game--
And I shall wonder until I'm dead,
How it ever came into the Saracen's Head."