Poem of the Week: National Anthem of Ancient Britons
Prof. Brownlow sent this in to complement Andrei Navrozov's latest. It was written by an Eton mathematics master named William Hope-Jones. It is sung to "Men of Harlech."
What’s the good of wearing braces,
Vests and pants and boots with laces,
Spats or hats you buy in places
Down in Brompton Road?
What’s the use of shirts of cotton,
Studs that always get forgotten?
These affairs are simply rotten:
Better far is woad.
Woad’s the stuff to show, men.
Woad to scare your foemen:
Boil it to a brilliant hue
And rub it on your back and your abdomen.
Ancient Briton ne’er did hit on
Anything as good as woad to fit on
Neck, or knees, or where you sit on.
Tailors, you be blowed.
All wrapped up in tin and flannel:
Half a pint of woad per man’ll
Dress us more than these.
Saxons, you can waste your stitches
Building beds for bugs in britches:
We have woad to clothe us, which is
Not a nest for fleas.
Romans keep your armours;
Saxons your pyjamas:
Hairy coats were meant for goats,
Tramp up Snowdon with our woad on:
Never mind if we get rained or blowed on.
Never want a button sewed on.
Go it, Ancient Bs.