Friday 23 April 2010

St George ?

ST George he was for England.
And before he killed the dragon
He drank a pint of English ale
Out of an English flagon.
For though he fast right readily
In hair-shirt or in mail.
It isn't safe to give him cakes
Unless you give him ale.

St George he was for England,
And right gallantly set free
The lady left for dragon's meat
And tied up to a tree;
But since he stood for England
And knew what England means,
Unless you give him bacon
You mustn't give him beans.

St George he is for England,
And shall wear the shield he wore
When we go out in armour
With the battle-cross before.
But though he is jolly company
And very pleased to dine,
It isn't safe to give him nuts
Unless you give him wine.
G. K. Chesterton
Has anyone any idea what this poem means?


  1. Um. Is he being funny about typical English food that *has* to go together? Like bacon and eggs, and rhubarb and custard.Linking these typical food pairings with Englishness, endorsed by St George of course.

  2. Clare,
    Thank you. I think you are right! It also seems fairly clear now, that he is not speaking of the real St George but of the figure of popular myth as seen on numerous "George and Dragon" pub signs.