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Ranald's Collection of Sayings and Verses
Hampden Court Maze

The Maze was planted in William's days
"A popular feature" the guide book says
Six feet high and two feet thick
Of closed clipped hedge, strong as brick.
But was it really William III
Who thought of such a scheme absurd?
Or was he feeling just 'contrary'
And hoping to annoy Queen Mary?

Once on a visit to Hampden Court,
Someone suggested that we ought
To prove our skill in navigation,
Attempt with careful observation,
To follow the intricate paths that wind
In and out and on behind
Tall hedges made of thorn and yew
Which everywhere do block our view.

"Turn to the left" we heard them say,
"You'll reach the center without delay."
Advice, alas, we tried to take
But as we followed in their wake
Of lots of people, it was clear
We'd seen them all before somewhere,
And so we realised, at last,
That we were getting nowhere fast!

That woman with the auburn hair
And transatlantic accent there?
We heard her murmur "not again!"
And hurry down the other lane,
While laughing, healthy children ran
Just to and fro, without a plan,
Or hoping, as it seemed to me
That SOMEHOW they'd be home for tea.

"For tea!" Remote that prospect seemed
To us, who hadn't even dreamed
The center would elude us still.
'Perhaps,' we thought, 'it always will!'
But no, a kindly passer-by
Betrayed the secret and to my
Relief that all was not in vain,
We managed still to catch our train!



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