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Best Famous Hilaire Belloc Poems

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Written by Hilaire Belloc | Create an image from this poem

The Night

 Still a mystery,

I can’t figure out;

Race home from work,

Where life is without.
***** I race to see you, And hold you to me; My mind says you’re there, And my heart won’t see.
***** I open the door, It’s still a surprise: You’re not there, And tears fill my eyes.
***** I need someone, Or call on the phone; But nothing breaks the silence, Of these walls made of stone.
***** I punish myself, By refusing to eat: Depression is silent, I hear my heart beat.
***** Where can I go, Or should I stay: Shy to choose, In bed I lay.
***** Time will pass, And the dark sets in; Laying there wishing, I could still touch your skin.
***** Lying there hurting, I wish I could die; Missing you so much, Again I start to cry.
***** Sometimes I wonder, If you even know; The way that I need you, Would you still go.
***** I can’t sleep now, Again a long night; Are you this lonely, Do you share in my fright.
***** Written 09-27-90
Written by Hilaire Belloc | Create an image from this poem

The Frog

 Be kind and tender to the Frog,
And do not call him names,
As "Slimy skin," or "Polly-wog,"
Or likewise "Ugly James,"
Or "Gap-a-grin," or "Toad-gone-wrong,"
Or "Bill Bandy-knees":
The Frog is justly sensitive
To epithets like these.
No animal will more repay A treatment kind and fair; At least so lonely people say Who keep a frog (and, by the way, They are extremely rare).
Written by Hilaire Belloc | Create an image from this poem

The Elephant

 When people call this beast to mind,
 They marvel more and more
At such a little tail behind,
 So large a trunk before.
Written by Hilaire Belloc | Create an image from this poem

Rebecca

 Who Slammed Doors For Fun And Perished Miserably

A trick that everyone abhors
In little girls is slamming doors.
A wealthy banker's little daughter Who lived in Palace Green, Bayswater (By name Rebecca Offendort), Was given to this furious sport.
She would deliberately go And slam the door like billy-o! To make her uncle Jacob start.
She was not really bad at heart, But only rather rude and wild; She was an aggravating child.
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It happened that a marble bust Of Abraham was standing just Above the door this little lamb Had carefully prepared to slam, And down it came! It knocked her flat! It laid her out! She looked like that.
Her funeral sermon (which was long And followed by a sacred song) Mentioned her virtues, it is true, But dwelt upon her vices too, And showed the deadful end of one Who goes and slams the door for fun.
The children who were brought to hear The awful tale from far and near Were much impressed, and inly swore They never more would slam the door, -- As often they had done before.
Written by Hilaire Belloc | Create an image from this poem

Lines For A Christmas Card

 May all my enemies go to hell,
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Written by Hilaire Belloc | Create an image from this poem

September

 1 The golden-rod is yellow; 
2 The corn is turning brown;
3 The trees in apple orchards
4 With fruit are bending down.
5 The gentian's bluest fringes 6 Are curling in the sun; 7 In dusty pods the milkweed 8 Its hidden silk has spun.
9 The sedges flaunt their harvest, 10 In every meadow nook; 11 And asters by the brook-side 12 Make asters in the brook, 13 From dewy lanes at morning 14 The grapes' sweet odors rise; 15 At noon the roads all flutter 16 With yellow butterflies.
17 By all these lovely tokens 18 September days are here, 19 With summer's best of weather, 20 And autumn's best of cheer.
21 But none of all this beauty 22 Which floods the earth and air 23 Is unto me the secret 24 Which makes September fair.
25 'T is a thing which I remember; 26 To name it thrills me yet: 27 One day of one September 28 I never can forget.
Written by Hilaire Belloc | Create an image from this poem

September

 Lo! a ripe sheaf of many golden days 
Gleaned by the year in autumn's harvest ways, 
With here and there, blood-tinted as an ember, 
Some crimson poppy of a late delight 
Atoning in its splendor for the flight 
Of summer blooms and joys­
This is September.
Written by Hilaire Belloc | Create an image from this poem

Lord Lundy

 Who was too Freely Moved to Tears, and thereby ruined his Political Career 

Lord Lundy from his earliest years
Was far too freely moved to Tears.
For instance if his Mother said, "Lundy! It's time to go to Bed!" He bellowed like a Little Turk.
Or if his father Lord Dunquerque Said "Hi!" in a Commanding Tone, "Hi, Lundy! Leave the Cat alone!" Lord Lundy, letting go its tail, Would raise so terrible a wail As moved His Grandpapa the Duke To utter the severe rebuke: "When I, Sir! was a little Boy, An Animal was not a Toy!" His father's Elder Sister, who Was married to a Parvenoo, Confided to Her Husband, Drat! The Miserable, Peevish Brat! Why don't they drown the Little Beast?" Suggestions which, to say the least, Are not what we expect to hear From Daughters of an English Peer.
His Grandmamma, His Mother's Mother, Who had some dignity or other, The Garter, or no matter what, I can't remember all the Lot! Said "Oh! That I were Brisk and Spry To give him that for which to cry!" (An empty wish, alas! For she Was Blind and nearly ninety-three).
The Dear Old Butler thought-but there! I really neither know nor care For what the Dear Old Butler thought! In my opinion, Butlers ought To know their place, and not to play The Old Retainer night and day.
I'm getting tired and so are you, Let's cut the poem into two! Second Part It happened to Lord Lundy then, As happens to so many men: Towards the age of twenty-six, They shoved him into politics; In which profession he commanded The Income that his rank demanded In turn as Secretary for India, the Colonies, and War.
But very soon his friends began To doubt is he were quite the man: Thus if a member rose to say (As members do from day to day), "Arising out of that reply .
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!" Lord Lundy would begin to cry.
A Hint at harmless little jobs Would shake him with convulsive sobs.
While as for Revelations, these Would simply bring him to his knees, And leave him whimpering like a child.
It drove his colleagues raving wild! They let him sink from Post to Post, From fifteen hundred at the most To eight, and barely six--and then To be Curator of Big Ben!.
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And finally there came a Threat To oust him from the Cabinet! The Duke -- his aged grand-sire -- bore The shame till he could bear no more.
He rallied his declining powers, Summoned the youth to Brackley Towers, And bitterly addressed him thus-- "Sir! you have disappointed us! We had intended you to be The next Prime Minister but three: The stocks were sold; the Press was squared: The Middle Class was quite prepared.
But as it is! .
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My language fails! Go out and govern New South Wales!" The Aged Patriot groaned and died: And gracious! how Lord Lundy cried!
Written by Hilaire Belloc | Create an image from this poem

Frog The

 Be kind and tender to the Frog,
And do not call him names,
As "Slimy skin," or "Polly-wog,"
Or likewise "Ugly James,"
Or "Gap-a-grin," or "Toad-gone-wrong,"
Or "Bill Bandy-knees":
The Frog is justly sensitive
To epithets like these.
No animal will more repay A treatment kind and fair; At least so lonely people say Who keep a frog (and, by the way, They are extremely rare).
Written by Hilaire Belloc | Create an image from this poem

The Whale

 The Whale that wanders round the Pole
Is not a table fish.
You cannot bake or boil him whole Nor serve him in a dish; But you may cut his blubber up And melt it down for oil.
And so replace the colza bean (A product of the soil).
These facts should all be noted down And ruminated on, By every boy in Oxford town Who wants to be a Don.
Written by Hilaire Belloc | Create an image from this poem

The Catholic Sun

 Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine,
There’s always laughter and good red wine.
At least I’ve always found it so.
Benedicamus Domino!
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On Torture: A Public Singer

 Torture will give a dozen pence or more 
To keep a drab from bawling at his door.
The public taste is quite a different thing- Torture is positively paid to sing.
Written by Hilaire Belloc | Create an image from this poem

Heroic Poem in Praise of Wine

 To exalt, enthrone, establish and defend,
To welcome home mankind's mysterious friend
Wine, true begetter of all arts that be;
Wine, privilege of the completely free;
Wine the recorder; wine the sagely strong;
Wine, bright avenger of sly-dealing wrong,
Awake, Ausonian Muse, and sing the vineyard song!

Sing how the Charioteer from Asia came,
And on his front the little dancing flame
Which marked the God-head.
Sing the Panther-team, The gilded Thrysus twirling, and the gleam Of cymbals through the darkness.
Sing the drums.
He comes; the young renewer of Hellas comes! The Seas await him.
Those Aegean Seas Roll from the dawning, ponderous, ill at ease, In lifts of lead, whose cresting hardly breaks To ghostly foam, when suddenly there awakes A mountain glory inland.
All the skies Are luminous; and amid the sea bird cries The mariner hears a morning breeze arise.
Then goes the Pageant forward.
The sea-way Silvers the feet of that august array Trailing above the waters, through the airs; And as they pass a wind before them bears The quickening word, the influence magical.
The Islands have received it, marble-tall; The long shores of the mainland.
Something fills The warm Euboean combes, the sacred hills Of Aulis and of Argos.
Still they move Touching the City walls, the Temple grove, Till, far upon the horizon-glint, a gleam Of light, of trembling light, revealed they seem Turned to a cloud, but to a cloud that shines, And everywhere as they pass, the Vines! The Vines! The Vines, the conquering Vines! And the Vine breaths Her savour through the upland, empty heaths Of treeless wastes; the Vines have come to where The dark Pelasgian steep defends the lair Of the wolf's hiding; to the empty fields By Aufidus, the dry campaign that yields No harvest for the husbandman, but now Shall bear a nobler foison than the plough; To where, festooned along the tall elm trees, Tendrils are mirrored in Tyrrhenian seas; To where the South awaits them; even to where Stark, African informed of burning air, Upturned to Heaven the broad Hipponian plain Extends luxurious and invites the main.
Guelma's a mother: barren Thaspsa breeds; And northward in the valleys, next the meads That sleep by misty river banks, the Vines Have struck to spread below the solemn pines.
The Vines are on the roof-trees.
All the Shrines And Homes of men are consecrate with Vines.
And now the task of that triumphant day Has reached to victory.
In the reddening ray With all his train, from hard Iberian lands Fulfilled, apparent, that Creator stands Halted on Atlas.
Far Beneath him, far, The strength of Ocean darkening and the star Beyond all shores.
There is a silence made.
It glorifies: and the gigantic shade Of Hercules adores him from the West.
Dead Lucre: burnt Ambition: Wine is best.
But what are these that from the outer murk Of dense mephitic vapours creeping lurk To breathe foul airs from that corrupted well Which oozes slime along the floor of Hell? These are the stricken palsied brood of sin In whose vile veins, poor, poisonous and thin, Decoctions of embittered hatreds crawl: These are the Water-Drinkers, cursed all! On what gin-sodden Hags, what flaccid sires Bred these White Slugs from what exhaust desires? In what close prison's horror were their wiles Watched by what tyrant power with evil smiles; Or in what caverns, blocked from grace and air Received they, then, the mandates of despair? What! Must our race, our tragic race, that roam All exiled from our first, and final, home: That in one moment of temptation lost Our heritage, and now wander, hunger-tost Beyond the Gates (still speaking with our eyes For ever of remembered Paradise), Must we with every gift accepted, still, With every joy, receive attendant ill? Must some lewd evil follow all our good And muttering dog our brief beatitude? A primal doom, inexorable, wise, Permitted, ordered, even these to rise.
Even in the shadow of so bright a Lord Must swarm and propagate the filthy horde Debased, accursed I say, abhorrent and abhorred.
Accursed and curse-bestowing.
For whosoe'er Shall suffer their contagion, everywhere Falls from the estate of man and finds his end To the mere beverage of the beast condemned.
For such as these in vain the Rhine has rolled Imperial centuries by hills of gold; For such as these the flashing Rhone shall rage In vain its lightning through the Hermitage Or level-browed divine Touraine receive The tribute of her vintages at eve.
For such as these Burgundian heats in vain Swell the rich slope or load the empurpled plain.
Bootless for such as these the mighty task Of bottling God the Father in a flask And leading all Creation down distilled To one small ardent sphere immensely filled.
With memories empty, with experience null, With vapid eye-balls meaningless and dull They pass unblest through the unfruitful light; And when we open the bronze doors of Night, When we in high carousal, we reclined, Spur up to Heaven the still ascending mind, Pass with the all inspiring, to and fro, The torch of genius and the Muse's glow, They, lifeless, stare at vacancy alone Or plan mean traffic, or repeat their moan.
We, when repose demands us, welcomed are In young white arms, like our great Exemplar Who, wearied with creation, takes his rest And sinks to sleep on Ariadne's breast.
They through the darkness into darkness press Despised, abandoned and companionless.
And when the course of either's sleep has run We leap to life like heralds of the sun; We from the couch in roseate mornings gay Salute as equals the exultant day While they, the unworthy, unrewarded, they The dank despisers of the Vine, arise To watch grey dawns and mourn indifferent skies.
Forget them! Form the Dionysian ring And pulse the ground, and Io, Io, sing.
Father Lenaean, to whom our strength belongs, Our loves, our wars, our laughter and our songs, Remember our inheritance, who praise Your glory in these last unhappy days When beauty sickens and a muddied robe Of baseness fouls the universal globe.
Though all the Gods indignant and their train Abandon ruined man, do thou remain! By thee the vesture of our life was made, The Embattled Gate, the lordly Colonnade, The woven fabric's gracious hues, the sound Of trumpets, and the quivering fountain-round, And, indestructible, the Arch, and, high, The Shaft of Stone that stands against the sky, And, last, the guardian-genius of them, Rhyme, Come from beyond the world to conquer time: All these are thine, Lenaean.
By thee do seers the inward light discern; By thee the statue lives, the Gods return; By thee the thunder and the falling foam Of loud Acquoria's torrent call to Rome; Alba rejoices in a thousand springs, Gensano laughs, and Orvieto sings.
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But, Ah! With Orvieto, with that name Of dark, Eturian, subterranean flame The years dissolve.
I am standing in that hour Of majesty Septembral, and the power Which swells the clusters when the nights are still With autumn stars on Orvieto hill.
Had these been mine, Ausonian Muse, to know The large contented oxen heaving slow; To count my sheaves at harvest; so to spend Perfected days in peace until the end; With every evening's dust of gold to hear The bells upon the pasture height, the clear Full horn of herdsmen gathering in the kine To ancient byres in hamlets Appenine, And crown abundant age with generous ease: Had these, Ausonian Muse, had these, had these.
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But since I would not, since I could not stay, Let me remember even in this my day How, when the ephemeral vision's lure is past All, all, must face their Passion at the last Was there not one that did to Heaven complain How, driving through the midnight and the rain, He struck, the Atlantic seethe and surge before, Wrecked in the North along a lonely shore To make the lights of home and hear his name no more.
Was there not one that from a desperate field Rode with no guerdon but a rifted shield; A name disherited; a broken sword; Wounds unrenowned; battle beneath no Lord; Strong blows, but on the void, and toil without reward.
When from the waste of such long labour done I too must leave the grape-ennobling sun And like the vineyard worker take my way Down the long shadows of declining day, Bend on the sombre plain my clouded sight And leave the mountain to the advancing night, Come to the term of all that was mine own With nothingness before me, and alone; Then to what hope of answer shall I turn? Comrade-Commander whom I dared not earn, What said You then to trembling friends and few? "A moment, and I drink it with you new: But in my Father's Kingdom.
" So, my Friend, Let not Your cup desert me in the end.
But when the hour of mine adventure's near Just and benignant, let my youth appear Bearing a Chalice, open, golden, wide, With benediction graven on its side.
So touch my dying lip: so bridge that deep: So pledge my waking from the gift of sleep, And, sacramental, raise me the Divine: Strong brother in God and last companion, Wine.
Written by Hilaire Belloc | Create an image from this poem

The Early Morning

 The moon on the one hand, the dawn on the other:
The moon is my sister, the dawn is my brother.
The moon on my left and the dawn on my right.
My brother, good morning: my sister, good night.
Written by Hilaire Belloc | Create an image from this poem

Talking (and Singing) of the Nordic Man

 I

Behold, my child, the Nordic man,
And be as like him, as you can;
His legs are long, his mind is slow,
His hair is lank and made of tow.
II And here we have the Alpine Race: Oh! What a broad and foolish face! His skin is of a dirty yellow.
He is a most unpleasant fellow.
III The most degraded of them all Mediterranean we call.
His hair is crisp, and even curls, And he is saucy with the girls.