Ye Flags of Picadilly

from Songs in Absence

Arthur Hugh Clough

YE flags of Piccadilly,
    Where I posted up and down,
And wished myself so often
    Well away from you and town—

Are the people walking quietly
    And steady on their feet,
Cabs and omnibuses plying
    Just as usual in the street?

Do the houses look as upright
    As of old they used to be,
And does nothing seem affected
    By the pitching of the sea?

Through the Green Park iron railings
    Do the quick pedestrians pass?
Are the little children playing
    Round the plane-tree in the grass?

This squally wild northwester
    With which our vessel fights,
Does it merely serve with you to
    Carry up some paper kites?

Ye flags of Piccadilly,
    Which I hated so, I vow
I could wish with all my heart
    You were underneath me now!

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