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Gentlemen of the Road

From the New York Tribune, May 25, 1913.
(An Oxford don declares that walking is the form of exercise most often associated with high intelligence.)

If I might leave my dull abode
     And all the strife and cares of town,
 And, light of heart, essay the road
     That leads by wood and open down,
 Then, as I spread those pinions wide
     That bear me through the realms of song,
 My soul would surely soar and glide
     The while my body jogged along.
 The lofty mind can ne’er abide
     In hooting car or roaring train;
 Only the rhythmic swinging stride
     Can vivify the sluggish brain.
 Come forth, O muse! and let us fare
     By vale and hill through scented ways
 To fill our lungs with scented air
     And witch the world with wondrous lays!
 And as I speed on winged feet
     Thrumming the while my gentle lyre,
 A glorious band I there shall meet
     In unconventional attire,
 Unrazored men with shaggy hair
     Whose faces show a healthy tan;
 Not tramps, indeed, as some declare
     But dons of Oxford to a man!

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