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Inexpensive Progress

Written by: John Betjeman | Biography
 | Quotes (3) |
 Encase your legs in nylons,
Bestride your hills with pylons
O age without a soul;
Away with gentle willows
And all the elmy billows
That through your valleys roll.
Let's say goodbye to hedges And roads with grassy edges And winding country lanes; Let all things travel faster Where motor car is master Till only Speed remains.
Destroy the ancient inn-signs But strew the roads with tin signs 'Keep Left,' 'M4,' 'Keep Out!' Command, instruction, warning, Repetitive adorning The rockeried roundabout; For every raw obscenity Must have its small 'amenity,' Its patch of shaven green, And hoardings look a wonder In banks of floribunda With floodlights in between.
Leave no old village standing Which could provide a landing For aeroplanes to roar, But spare such cheap defacements As huts with shattered casements Unlived-in since the war.
Let no provincial High Street Which might be your or my street Look as it used to do, But let the chain stores place here Their miles of black glass facia And traffic thunder through.
And if there is some scenery, Some unpretentious greenery, Surviving anywhere, It does not need protecting For soon we'll be erecting A Power Station there.
When all our roads are lighted By concrete monsters sited Like gallows overhead, Bathed in the yellow vomit Each monster belches from it, We'll know that we are dead.



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