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Best Famous G K Chesterton Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous G K Chesterton poems. This is a select list of the best famous G K Chesterton poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous G K Chesterton poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of G K Chesterton poems.

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by G K Chesterton |

The Donkey

 When forests walked and fishes flew 
And figs grew upon thorn, 
Some moment when the moon was blood, 
Then, surely, I was born. 

With monstrous head and sickening bray 
And ears like errant wings— 
The devil's walking parody 
Of all four-footed things: 

The battered outlaw of the earth 
Of ancient crooked will; 
Scourge, beat, deride me—I am dumb— 
I keep my secret still. 

Fools! For I also had my hour— 
One far fierce hour and sweet: 
There was a shout around my head 
And palms about my feet.

by G K Chesterton |

The Latest School

 See the flying French depart
Like the bees of Bonaparte,
Swarming up with a most venomous vitality.
Over Baden and Bavaria,
And Brighton and Bulgaria,
Thus violating Belgian neutrality.

And the injured Prussian may
Not unreasonably say
"Why, it cannot be so small a nationality
Since Brixton and Batavia,
Bolivia and Belgravia,
Are bursting with the Belgian neutrality."

By pure Alliteration
You may trace this curious nation,
And respect this somewhat scattered Principality;
When you see a B in Both
You may take your Bible oath
You are violating Belgian neutrality.

by G K Chesterton |

The Song of Education

 III. For the Creche 

Form 8277059, Sub-Section K 

I remember my mother, the day that we met, 
A thing I shall never entirely forget; 
And I toy with the fancy that, young as I am, 
I should know her again if we met in a tram. 
But mother is happy in turning a crank 
That increases the balance in somebody's bank; 
And I feel satisfaction that mother is free 
From the sinister task of attending to me. 

They have brightened our room, that is spacious and cool, 
With diagrams used in the Idiot School, 
And Books for the Blind that will teach us to see; 
But mother is happy, for mother is free. 
For mother is dancing up forty-eight floors, 
For love of the Leeds International Stores, 
And the flame of that faith might perhaps have grown cold, 
With the care of a baby of seven weeks old. 

For mother is happy in greasing a wheel 
For somebody else, who is cornering Steel; 
And though our one meeting was not very long, 
She took the occasion to sing me this song: 
"O, hush thee, my baby, the time will soon come 
When thy sleep will be broken with hooting and hum; 
There are handles want turning and turning all day, 
And knobs to be pressed in the usual way; 

O, hush thee, my baby, take rest while I croon, 
For Progress comes early, and Freedom too soon."

by G K Chesterton |

The New Omar

 A Book of verses underneath the bough,
Provided that the verses do not scan,
A loaf of bread, a jug of wine and Thou,
Short-haired, all angles, looking like a man.

But let the wine be unfermented, Pale,
Of chemicals compounded, God knows how--
This were indeed the Prophet's Paradise,
O Paradise were Wilderness enow.

by G K Chesterton |

The World State

 Oh, how I love Humanity, 
 With love so pure and pringlish, 
And how I hate the horrid French, 
 Who never will be English! 

The International Idea, 
 The largest and the clearest, 
Is welding all the nations now, 
 Except the one that's nearest. 

This compromise has long been known, 
 This scheme of partial pardons, 
In ethical societies 
 And small suburban gardens— 

The villas and the chapels where 
 I learned with little labour 
The way to love my fellow-man 
 And hate my next-door neighbour.

by G K Chesterton |


 I cannot count the pebbles in the brook.
Well hath He spoken: "Swear not by thy head.
Thou knowest not the hairs," though He, we read,
Writes that wild number in His own strange book.

I cannot count the sands or search the seas,
Death cometh, and I leave so much untrod.
Grant my immortal aureole, O my God,
And I will name the leaves upon the trees,

In heaven I shall stand on gold and glass,
Still brooding earth's arithmetic to spell;
Or see the fading of the fires of hell
Ere I have thanked my God for all the grass.

by G K Chesterton |

The Sword of Suprise

 Sunder me from my bones, O sword of God 
Till they stand stark and strange as do the trees; 
That I whose heart goes up with the soaring woods 
May marvel as much at these. 

Sunder me from my blood that in the dark 
I hear that red ancestral river run 
Like branching buried floods that find the sea 
But never see the sun. 

Give me miraculous eyes to see my eyes 
Those rolling mirrors made alive in me 
Terrible crystals more incredible 
Than all the things they see 

Sunder me from my soul, that I may see 
The sins like streaming wounds, the life's brave beat 
Till I shall save myself as I would save 
A stranger in the street.

by G K Chesterton |

The Song of the Oak

 The Druids waved their golden knives 
And danced around the Oak 
When they had sacrificed a man; 
But though the learned search and scan 
No single modern person can 
Entirely see the joke. 
But though they cut the throats of men 
They cut not down the tree, 
And from the blood the saplings spring 
Of oak-woods yet to be. 
But Ivywood, Lord Ivywood, 
He rots the tree as ivy would, 
He clings and crawls as ivy would 
About the sacred tree. 

King Charles he fled from Worcester fight 
And hid him in the Oak; 
In convent schools no man of tact 
Would trace and praise his every act, 
Or argue that he was in fact 
A strict and sainted bloke. 
But not by him the sacred woods 
Have lost their fancies free, 
And though he was extremely big 
He did not break the tree. 
But Ivywood, Lord Ivywood, 
He breaks the tree as ivy would, 
And eats the woods as ivy would 
Between us and the sea. 

Great Collingwood walked down the glade 
And flung the acorns free, 
That oaks might still be in the grove 
As oaken as the beams above, 
When the great Lover sailors love 
Was kissed by Death at sea. 
But though for him the oak-trees fell 
To build the oaken ships, 
The woodman worshipped what he smote 
And honoured even the chips. 
But Ivywood, Lord Ivywood, 
He hates the tree as ivy would, 
As the dragon of the ivy would 
That has us in his grips.

by G K Chesterton |

The Towers of Time

 Under what withering leprous light
The very grass as hair is grey,
Grass in the cracks of the paven courts
Of gods we graved but yesterday.
Senate, republic, empire, all
We leaned our backs on like a wall
And blessed as stron as strong and blamed as stolid--
Can it be these that waver and fall?
And what is this like a ghost returning,
A dream grown strong in the strong daylight?
The all-forsaken, the unforgotten,
The ever-behind and out of sight.
We turned our backs and our blind flesh felt it
Growing and growing, a tower in height.

Ah, not alone the evil splendour
And not the insolent arms alone
Break with the ramrod, stiff and brittle,
The sceptre of the nordic throne;
But things of manlier renown
Reel in the wreck of throne and crown,
With tyrannous tyranny, tyrannous loyalty
Tyrannous liberty, all gone down.

(There is never a crack in the ivory tower
Or a hinge to groan in the house of gold
Or a leaf of the rose in the wind to wither
And she grows young as the world grows old.
A Woman clothed with the sun returning
to clothe the sun when the sun is cold.)

Ah, who had guessed that in a moment
Great Liberty that loosed the tribes,
the Republic of the young men's battles
Grew stale and stank of old men's bribes;
And where we watched her smile in power
A statue like a starry tower
the stone face sneers as in a nightmare
Down on a world that worms devour.
(Archaic incredible dead dawns breaking
Deep in the deserts and waste and wealds, 
Where the dead cry aloud on Our Lady of Victories,
Queen of the Eagles, aloft on the shields,
And the sun is gone up on the Thundering Legion
On the roads of Rome to the Battlefields.)

Ah, who had known who had not seen
How soft and sudden on the fame 
Of my most noble English ships
The sunset light of Carthage came
And the thing I never had dreamed could be
In the house of my fathers came to me
Through the sea-wall cloven, the cloud and dark,
A voice divided, a doubtful sea.
(The light is bright on the Tower of David,
The evening glows with the morning star
In the skies turned back and the days returning
She walks so near who had wandered far
And in the heart of the swords, the seven times wounded,
Was never wearied as our hearts are.)

How swift as with a fall of snow
New things grow hoary with the light.
We watch the wrinkles crawl like snakes
On the new image in our sight.
The lines that sprang up taut and bold
Sag like primordial monsters old,
Sink in the bas-reliers of fossil
And the slow earth swallows them, fold on fold,
But light are the feet on the hills of the morning
Of the lambs that leap up to the Bride of the Sun,
And swift are the birds as the butterflies flashing
And sudden as laughter the rivulets run
And sudden for ever as summer lightning
the light is bright on the world begun.

Thou wilt not break as we have broken
The towers we reared to rival Thee.
More true to England than the English
More just to freedom than the free.
O trumpet of the intolerant truth
Thou art more full of grace and ruth
For the hopes of th world than the world that made them,
The world that murdered the loves of our youth.
Thou art more kind to our dreams, Our Mother,
Than the wise that wove us the dreams for shade.
God if more good to the gods that mocked Him
Than men are good to the gods they made.
Tenderer with toys than a boy grown brutal, 
Breaking the puppets with which he played.

What are the flowers the garden guards not
And how but here should dreams return?
And how on hearths made cold with ruin
the wide wind-scattered ashes burn--
What is the home of the heart set free,
And where is the nesting of liberty,
And where from the world shall the world take shelter
And man be matter, and not with Thee?
Wisdom is set in her throne of thunder,
The Mirror of Justice blinds the day--
Where are the towers that are not of the City,
Trophies and trumpetings, where are they?
Where over the maze of the world returning
The bye-ways bend to the King's highway.

by G K Chesterton |

A Prayer in Darkness

 This much, O heaven—if I should brood or rave, 
Pity me not; but let the world be fed, 
Yea, in my madness if I strike me dead, 
Heed you the grass that grows upon my grave. 

If I dare snarl between this sun and sod, 
Whimper and clamour, give me grace to own, 
In sun and rain and fruit in season shown, 
The shining silence of the scorn of God. 

Thank God the stars are set beyond my power, 
If I must travail in a night of wrath, 
Thank God my tears will never vex a moth, 
Nor any curse of mine cut down a flower. 

Men say the sun was darkened: yet I had 
Thought it beat brightly, even on—Calvary: 
And He that hung upon the Torturing Tree 
Heard all the crickets singing, and was glad.