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Gilbert Keith Chesterton
1874 - 1936
Supporting the conservative
views of Roman Catholicism, Chesterton's writings, - like Hilaire Belloc - were
controversial, or polemical; Shaw called the pair, "Chesterbelloc."
ELEGY IN A COUNTRY CHURCHYARD
- THE men that worked for England
- They have their graves at home:
- And birds and bees of England
- About the cross can roam.
- But they that fought for England,
- Following a falling star,
- Alas, alas for England
- They have their graves afar.
- And they that rule in England,
- In stately conclave met,
- Alas, alas for England
- They have no graves as yet.
WINE AND WATER
- OLD Noah he had an ostrich farm and fowls on the largest
- 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.
- But they all were small to the cellar he took when he set out to sail,
- And Noah he often said to his wife when he sat down to dine,
- 'I don't care where the water goes it it doesn't get into the wine.'
- The cataract of the cliff of heaven fell blinding off the brink
- As if it would wash the stars away as suds go down a sink,
- The seven heavens came roaring down for the throats of hell to drink,
- And Noah he cocked his eye and said, 'It looks like rain, I think.
- The water has drowned the Matterhorn as deep as a Mendip mine,
- But I don't care where the water goes it it doesn't get into the wine.'
- But Noah he sinned, and we have sinned; on tipsy feet we trod.
- Till a great big black teetotaller was sent to us for a rod,
- And you can't get wine at a P.S.A., or chapel, or Eisteddfod,
- For the Curse of Water has come again because of the wrath of God,
- And water is on the Bishop's board and the Higher Thinker's shrine,
- But I don't care where the water goes it if doesn't get into the wine.
- ST George he was for England.
- And before he killed the dragon
- He drank a pint of English ale
- Out of an English flagon.
- For though he fast right readily
- In hair-shirt or in mail.
- It isn't safe to give him cakes
- Unless you give him ale.
- St George he was for England,
- And right gallantly set free
- The lady left for dragon's meat
- And tied up to a tree;
- But since he stood for England
- And knew what England means,
- Unless you give him bacon
- You mustn't give him beans.
- St George he is for England,
- And shall wear the shield he wore
- When we go out in armour
- With the battle-cross before.
- But though he is jolly company
- And very pleased to dine,
- It isn't safe to give him nuts
- Unless you give him wine.
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