The Wild Knight and Other Poems - Gilbert Keith Chesterton - ebook
Kategoria: Poezja i dramat Język: angielski Rok wydania: 1900

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Gilbert Keith Chesterton

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About
Note
By the Babe Unborn
The World's Lover
The Skeleton
A Chord of Colour
The Happy Man
The Unpardonable Sin

About Chesterton:

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (29 May 1874 – 14 June 1936) was one of the most influential English writers of the 20th century. His prolific and diverse output included journalism, philosophy, poetry, biography, Christian apologetics, fantasy and detective fiction. Chesterton has been called the "prince of paradox." Time magazine, in a review of a biography of Chesterton, observed of his writing style: "Whenever possible Chesterton made his points with popular sayings, proverbs, allegories—first carefully turning them inside out." For example, Chesterton wrote the following: Thieves respect property. They merely wish the property to become their property that they may more perfectly respect it. Chesterton is well known for his reasoned apologetics and even those who disagree with him have recognized the universal appeal of such works as Orthodoxy and The Everlasting Man. Chesterton, as political thinker, cast aspersions on both Liberalism and Conservatism, saying: The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected. Chesterton routinely referred to himself as an "orthodox" Christian, and came to identify such a position with Catholicism more and more, eventually converting to Roman Catholicism. George Bernard Shaw, Chesterton's "friendly enemy" according to Time, said of him, "He was a man of colossal genius".

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Note

My thanks are due to the Editors of the Outlook and the Speaker for the kind permission they have given me to reprint a considerable number of the following poems.  They have been selected and arranged rather with a view to unity of spirit than to unity of time or value; many of them being juvenile.


Another tattered rhymster in the ring,
  With but the old plea to the sneering schools,
That on him too, some secret night in spring
  Came the old frenzy of a hundred fools


To make some thing:  the old want dark and deep,
  The thirst of men, the hunger of the stars,
Since first it tinged even the Eternal’s sleep,
  With monstrous dreams of trees and towns and mars.


When all He made for the first time He saw,
  Scattering stars as misers shake their pelf. 
Then in the last strange wrath broke His own law,
  And made a graven image of Himself.

 


By the Babe Unborn


If trees were tall and grasses short,
  As in some crazy tale,
If here and there a sea were blue
  Beyond the breaking pale,


If a fixed fire hung in the air
  To warm me one day through,
If deep green hair grew on great hills,
  I know what I should do.


In dark I lie:  dreaming that there
  Are great eyes cold or kind,
And twisted streets and silent doors,
  And living men behind.


Let storm-clouds come:  better an hour,
  And leave to weep and fight,
Than all the ages I have ruled
  The empires of the night.


I think that if they gave me leave
  Within that world to stand,
I would be good through all the day
  I spent in fairyland.


They should not hear a word from me
  Of selfishness or scorn,
If only I could find the door,
  If only I were born.


The World's Lover


My eyes are full of lonely mirth: 
  Reeling with want and worn with scars,
For pride of every stone on earth,
  I shake my spear at all the stars.


A live bat beats my crest above,
  Lean foxes nose where I have trod,
And on my naked face the love
  Which is the loneliness of God.


Outlawed:  since that great day gone by—­
  When before prince and pope and queen
I stood and spoke a blasphemy—­
  ‘Behold the summer leaves are green.’


They cursed me:  what was that to me
  Who in that summer darkness furled,
With but an owl and snail to see,
  Had blessed and conquered all the world?


They bound me to the scourging-stake,
  They laid their whips of thorn on me;
I wept to see the green rods break,
  Though blood be beautiful to see.


Beneath the gallows’ foot abhorred
  The crowds cry ‘Crucify!’ and ‘Kill!’
Higher the priests sing, ’Praise the Lord,
  The warlock dies’; and higher still


Shall heaven and earth hear one cry sent
  Even from the hideous gibbet height,
’Praise to the Lord Omnipotent,
  The vultures have a feast to-night.’


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.


A Chord of Colour


My Lady clad herself in grey,
  That caught and clung about her throat;
Then all the long grey winter day
  On me a living splendour smote;
And why grey palmers holy are,
  And why grey minsters great in story,
And grey skies ring the morning star,
  And grey hairs are a crown of glory.


My Lady clad herself in green,
  Like meadows where the wind-waves pass;
Then round my spirit spread, I ween,
  A splendour of forgotten grass. 
Then all that dropped of stem or sod,
  Hoarded as emeralds might be,
I bowed to every bush, and trod
  Amid the live grass fearfully.


My Lady clad herself in blue,
  Then on me, like the seer long gone,
The likeness of a sapphire grew,
  The throne of him that sat thereon. 
Then knew I why the Fashioner
  Splashed reckless blue on sky and sea;
And ere ’twas good enough for her,
  He tried it on Eternity.


Beneath the gnarled old Knowledge-tree
  Sat, like an owl, the evil sage: 
‘The World’s a bubble,’ solemnly
  He read, and turned a second page. 
‘A bubble, then, old crow,’ I cried,
  ’God keep you in your weary wit! 
’A bubble—­have you ever spied
  ‘The colours I have seen on it?’


The Happy Man


To teach the grey earth like a child,
  To bid the heavens repent,
I only ask from Fate the gift
  Of one man well content.


Him will I find:  though when in vain
  I search the feast and mart,
The fading flowers of liberty,
  The painted masks of art.


I only find him at the last,
  On one old hill where nod
Golgotha’s ghastly trinity—­
  Three persons and one god.


The Unpardonable Sin


I do not cry, beloved, neither curse. 
  Silence and strength, these two at least are good. 
  He gave me sun and stars and ought He could,
But not a woman’s love; for that is hers.


He sealed her heart from sage and questioner—­
  Yea, with seven seals, as he has sealed the grave. 
  And if she give it to a drunken slave,
The Day of Judgment shall not challenge her.


Only this much:  if one, deserving well,
  Touching your thin young hands and making suit,
  Feel not himself a crawling thing, a brute,
Buried and bricked in a forgotten hell;


Prophet and poet be he over sod,
  Prince among angels in the highest place,
  God help me, I will smite him on the face,
Before the glory of the face of God.