Wallace Irwin

From Romany To Rome

Upon the road to Romany
It's stay, friend, stay!
There's lots o' love and lots o' time
To linger on the way;
Poppies for the twilight,
Roses for the noon,
It's happy goes as lucky goes
To Romany in June.

But on the road to Rome - oh,
It's march, man, march!
The dust is on the chariot wheels,
The sere is on the larch,
Helmets and javelins
And bridles flecked with foam -
The flowers are dead, the world's ahead
Upon the road to Rome.

But on the road to Rome - ah,
It's fight, man, fight!
Footman and horseman
Treading left and right,
Camp-fires and watch-fires
Ruddying the gloam -
The fields are gray and worn away
Along the road to Rome.

Upon the road to Romany
It's sing, boys, sing!
Though rag and pack be on our back
We'll whistle to the King.
Wine is in the sunshine,
Madness in the moon,
And de'il may care the road we fare
To Romany in June.

Along the road to Rome, alas!
The glorious dust is whirled,
Strong hearts are fierce to see
The City of the World;
Yet footfall or bugle-call
Or thunder as ye will,
Upon the road to Romany
The birds are calling still!



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Wallace Irwin