G. K. Chesterton Poems

  • 1.  
    Old Noah he had an ostrich farm and fowls on the largest scale,
    He ate his egg with a ladle in a egg-cup big as a pail.And the soup he took was Elephant Soup and the fish he took was Whale.
  • 2.  
    Lift up your heads; in life, in death,
    God knoweth his head was high;Quit we the coward's broken breath,
  • 3.  
    All round they murmur, ‘O profane,
    Keep thy heart's secret hid as gold';But I, by God, would sooner be
  • 4.  
    Old King Cole
    Was a merry old soulAnd a merry old soul was he
  • 5.  
    A wan sky greener than the lawn,
    A wan lawn paler than the sky.She gave a flower into my hand,
  • 6.  
    The vision of a haloed host
    That weep around an empty throne;And, aureoles dark and angels dead,
  • 7.  
    (W.E.G., May 1898)

  • 8.  
    You whom the kings saluted; who refused not
    The one great pleasure of ignoble days,Fame without name and glory without gossip,
  • 9.  
    For every tiny town or place
    God made the stars especially;Babies look up with owlish face
  • 10.  
    We will not let thee be, for thou art ours.
    We thank thee still, though thou forget these things,For that hour's sake when thou didst wake all powers
  • 11.  
    I had grown weary of him; of his breath
    And hands and features I was sick to death.Each day I heard the same dull voice and tread;
  • 12.  
    My eyes are full of lonely mirth:
    Reeling with want and worn with scars,For pride of every stone on earth,
  • 13.  
    Oh, how I love Humanity,
    With love so pure and pringlish,And how I hate the horrid French,
  • 14.  
    We came behind him by the wall,
    My brethren drew their brands,And they had strength to strike him down-
  • 15.  
    Step softly, under snow or rain,
    To find the place where men can pray;The way is all so very plain
  • 16.  
    The wasting thistle whitens on my crest,
    The barren grasses blow upon my spear,A green, pale pennon: blazon of wild faith
  • 17.  
    A dark manor-house shuttered and unlighted, outlined against a pale
    sunset: in front a large, but neglected, garden. To the right, in theforeground, the porch of a chapel, with coloured windows lighted. Hymns
  • 18.  
    Low and brown barns, thatched and repatched and tattered,
    Where I had seven sons until to-day,A little hill of hay your spur has scattered. . . .
  • 19.  
    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,
  • 20.  
    Lo! very fair is she who knows the ways
    Of joy: in pleasure's mocking wisdom old,The eyes that might be cold to flattery, kind;
  • 21.  
    I plod and peer amid mean sounds and shapes,
    I hunt for dusty gain and dreary praise, And slowly pass the dismal grinning days,
  • 22.  
    Under what withering leprous light
    The very grass as hair is grey,Grass in the cracks of the paven courts
  • 23.  
    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
  • 24.  
    Other loves may sink and settle, other loves may loose and slack,
    But I wander like a minstrel with a harp upon my back,Though the harp be on my bosom, though I finger and I fret,
  • 25.  
    If I had been a Heathen,
    I'd have praised the purple vine,My slaves should dig the vineyards,
  • 26.  
    The Druids waved their golden knives
    And danced around the OakWhen they had sacrificed a man;
  • 27.  
    The World is ours till sunset,
    Holly and fire and snow;And the name of our dead brother
  • 28.  
    Feast on wine or fast on water
    And your honour shall stand sure,God Almighty's son and daughter
  • 29.  
    They haven't got no noses,
    The fallen sons of Eve;Even the smell of roses
  • 30.  
    God made the wicked Grocer
    For a mystery and a sign,That men might shun the awful shops
  • 31.  
    Chattering finch and water-fly
    Are not merrier than I;Here among the flowers I lie
  • 32.  
    Lord Lilac thought it rather rotten
    That Shakespeare should be quite forgotten,And therefore got on a Committee
  • 33.  
    Smile at us, pay us, pass us; but do not quite forget.
    For we are the people of England, that never have spoken yet.There is many a fat farmer that drinks less cheerfully,
  • 34.  
    Before the Roman came to Rye or out to Severn strode,
    The rolling English drunkard made the rolling English road.A reeling road, a rolling road, that rambles round the shire,
  • 35.  
    Some say that Guy of Warwick
    The man that killed the Cow,And brake the mighty Boar alive
  • 36.  
    ‘What of vile dust?' the preacher said.
    Methought the whole world woke,The dead stone lived beneath my foot,
  • 37.  
    You that have snarled through the ages, take your answer and go-
    I know your hoary question, the riddle that all men know.You have weighed the stars in a balance, and grasped the skies in a span:
  • 38.  
    Priest, is any song-bird stricken?
    Is one leaf less on the tree?Is this wine less red and royal
  • 39.  
    A livid sky on London
    And like the iron steeds that rearA shock of engines halted
  • 40.  
    A Book of verses underneath the bough,
    Provided that the verses do not scan,A loaf of bread, a jug of wine and Thou,
  • 41.  
    John Grubby who was short and stout
    And troubled with religious doubt,Refused about the age of three
  • 42.  
    “Leave them alone”, we seem to hear Mr. Galsworthy say of his Young People.
    -From a Review by Mr. Bettany
  • 43.  
    O learned man who never learned to learn,
    Save to deduce, by timid steps and small,From towering smoke that fire can never burn
  • 44.  
    I dreamed a dream of heaven, white as frost,
    The splendid stillness of a living host;Vast choirs of upturned faces, line o'er line.
  • 45.  
    The violet scent is sacred
    Like dreams of angels bright;The hawthorn smells of passion
  • 46.  
    “Why shouldn't I have a purely vegetarian drink? Why
    shouldn't I take vegetables in their highest form, so tospeak? The modest vegetarians ought to stick to wine or
  • 47.  
    A wan new garment of young green
    Touched, as you turned your soft brown hair And in me surged the strangest prayer
  • 48.  
    The wind blew out from Bergen from the dawning to the day,
    There was a wreck of trees and fall of towers a score of miles away,And drifted like a livid leaf I go before its tide,
  • 49.  
    Laugh your best, O blazoned forests,
    Me ye shall not shift or shameWith your beauty: here among you
  • 50.  
    Many have Earth's lovers been,
    Tried in seas and wars, I ween;Yet the mightiest have I seen:
Total 117 poems written by G. K. Chesterton

Poem of the day

Eight O’Clock
 by Sara Teasdale

Supper comes at five o'clock,
At six, the evening star,
My lover comes at eight o'clock -
But eight o'clock is far.

How could I bear my pain all day
Unless I watched to see
The clock-hands laboring to bring
...

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