Do hikers’ feet in these our times
Walk upon England’s mountains green?
And are there noisy picnickers
On England’s pleasant pastures seen?
And do the hordes from coach and car
Turn grassy hills to rubbish-dumps?
And were there trees and hedges once
Where leer these rows of petrol-pumps?
Bring we great store of paper bags!
Bring cartons, bottles, tons no less!
Litter, be spread! Wrappers, unfold!
Bring me more things to make a mess.
I will not cease from graceless ways,
Nor stay my devastating hand,
Until we have a dust-bin made
Of England’s green and pleasant land.
‘Vandals’ (with apologies to William Blake)
From ‘The Perfect Holiday’ by Rose Henniker Heaton