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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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Written by G K Chesterton |

Gold Leaves

 Lo! I am come to autumn, 
When all the leaves are gold; 
Grey hairs and golden leaves cry out 
The year and I are old.
In youth I sought the prince of men, Captain in cosmic wars, Our Titan, even the weeds would show Defiant, to the stars.
But now a great thing in the street Seems any human nod, Where shift in strange democracy The million masks of God.
In youth I sought the golden flower Hidden in wood or wold, But I am come to autumn, When all the leaves are gold.

Written by G K Chesterton |

A Ballad Of Suicide

 The gallows in my garden, people say,

Is new and neat and adequately tall; 
I tie the noose on in a knowing way

As one that knots his necktie for a ball;
But just as all the neighbours—on the wall— 
Are drawing a long breath to shout "Hurray!"

The strangest whim has seized me.
After all I think I will not hang myself to-day.
To-morrow is the time I get my pay— My uncle's sword is hanging in the hall— I see a little cloud all pink and grey— Perhaps the rector's mother will not call— I fancy that I heard from Mr.
Gall That mushrooms could be cooked another way— I never read the works of Juvenal— I think I will not hang myself to-day.
The world will have another washing-day; The decadents decay; the pedants pall; And H.
Wells has found that children play, And Bernard Shaw discovered that they squall, Rationalists are growing rational— And through thick woods one finds a stream astray So secret that the very sky seems small— I think I will not hang myself to-day.
ENVOI Prince, I can hear the trumpet of Germinal, The tumbrils toiling up the terrible way; Even to-day your royal head may fall, I think I will not hang myself to-day

Written 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.

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Written by G K Chesterton |

The Convert

 After one moment when I bowed my head 
And the whole world turned over and came upright, 
And I came out where the old road shone white, 
I walked the ways and heard what all men said, 
Forests of tongues, like autumn leaves unshed, 
Being not unlovable but strange and light; 
Old riddles and new creeds, not in despite 
But softly, as men smile about the dead.
The sages have a hundred maps to give That trace their crawling cosmos like a tree, They rattle reason out through many a sieve That stores the sand and lets the gold go free: And all these things are less than dust to me Because my name is Lazarus and I live.

Written by G K Chesterton |


 Britannia needs no Boulevards,
No spaces wide and gay:
Her march was through the crooked streets
Along the narrow way.
Nor looks she where, New York's seduction, The Broadway leadeth to destruction.
Britannia needs no Cafes: If Coffee needs must be, Its place should be the Coffee-house Where Johnson growled for Tea; But who can hear that human mountain Growl for an ice-cream soda-fountain? She needs no Russian Theatrey Mere Father strangles Mother, In scenes where all the characters And colours kill each other-- Her boast is freedom had by halves, And Britons never shall be Slavs.
But if not hers the Dance of Death, Great Dostoievsky's dance, And if the things most finely French Are better done in France-- Might not Americanisation Be best applied to its own nation? Ere every shop shall be a store And every Trade a Trust .
Lo, many men in many lands Know when their cause is just.
There will be quite a large attendance When we Declare our Independence.

Written by G K Chesterton |

The Higher Unity

 The Rev.
Isaiah Bunter has disappeared into the interior of the Solomon Islands, and it is feared that he may have been devoured by the natives, as there has been a considerable revival of religious customs among the Polynesians.
--A real paragraph from a real Paper; only the names altered.
It was Isaiah Bunter Who sailed to the world's end, And spread religion in a way That he did not intend.
He gave, if not the gospel-feast, At least a ritual meal; And in a highly painful sense He was devoured with zeal.
And who are we (as Henson says) That we should close the door? And should not Evangelicals All jump at shedding Gore? And many a man will melt in man, Becoming one, not two, When smacks across the startled earth The Kiss of Kikuyu.
When Man is the Turk, and the Atheist, Essene, Erastian, Whig, And the Thug and the Druse and the Catholic And the crew of the Captain's gig.

Written by G K Chesterton |

A Little Litany

 When God turned back eternity and was young,
Ancient of Days, grown little for your mirth
(As under the low arch the land is bright)
Peered through you, gate of heaven--and saw the earth.
Or shutting out his shining skies awhile Built you about him for a house of gold To see in pictured walls his storied world Return upon him as a tale is told.
Or found his mirror there; the only glass That would not break with that unbearable light Till in a corner of the high dark house God looked on God, as ghosts meet in the night.
Star of his morning; that unfallen star In that strange starry overturn of space When earth and sky changed places for an hour And heaven looked upwards in a human face.
Or young on your strong knees and lifted up Wisdom cried out, whose voice is in the street, And more than twilight of twiformed cherubim Made of his throne indeed a mercy-seat.
Or risen from play at your pale raiment's hem God, grown adventurous from all time's repose, Or your tall body climbed the ivory tower And kissed upon your mouth the mystic rose.

Written 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.

Written by G K Chesterton |


 There is one sin: to call a green leaf gray,
Whereat the sun in heaven shuddereth.
There is one blasphemy: for death to pray, For God alone knoweth the praise of death.
There is one creed: ’’neath no world-terror’s wing Apples forget to grow on apple-trees.
There is one thing is needful everything The rest is vanity of vanities.

Written by G K Chesterton |

The Skeleton

 Chattering finch and water-fly 
Are not merrier than I; 
Here among the flowers I lie 
Laughing everlastingly.
No; I may not tell the best; Surely, friends, I might have guessed Death was but the good King's jest, It was hid so carefully.

Written by G K Chesterton |

The Song Of The Strange Ascetic

 If I had been a Heathen,
I'd have praised the purple vine,
My slaves should dig the vineyards,
And I would drink the wine.
But Higgins is a Heathen, And his slaves grow lean and grey, That he may drink some tepid milk Exactly twice a day.
If I had been a Heathen, I'd have crowned Neaera's curls, And filled my life with love affairs, My house with dancing girls; But Higgins is a Heathen, And to lecture rooms is forced, Where his aunts, who are not married, Demand to be divorced.
If I had been a Heathen, I'd have sent my armies forth, And dragged behind my chariots The Chieftains of the North.
But Higgins is a Heathen, And he drives the dreary quill, To lend the poor that funny cash That makes them poorer still.
If I had been a Heathen, I'd have piled my pyre on high, And in a great red whirlwind Gone roaring to the sky; But Higgins is a Heathen, And a richer man than I: And they put him in an oven, Just as if he were a pie.
Now who that runs can read it, The riddle that I write, Of why this poor old sinner, Should sin without delight— But I, I cannot read it (Although I run and run), Of them that do not have the faith, And will not have the fun.

Written 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.

Written 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.

Written 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.

Written 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.