I’ve been accused on a friend’s blog of being “overly engrossed” with Chesterton and poetry. I actually do take issue with this…if you are going to accuse me of being overly engrossed about something, there are far better examples you could use. And honestly, I think I read more Belloc than Chesterton…but let’s run with this. I hereby dedicate this post to my friend, Thomas, who apparently hates poetry, and has little use for Chesterton. And just to make it all the more special, I’ve put these two things in which I am overly engrossed into one neat, little package. For your reading pleasure, a poem….by G.K.Chesterton:

A Ballade 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.G. 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.

And with that, I think I’ll go and re-read Chesterton’s The Outline of Sanity, just for the heck of it. Thomas, I’d be more than happy to send you a copy. I’m sure you’d find it rather enlightening 😉