Sunday Sonnet

Monday, 2 November 2009

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,
Still, my hope is all before me; for I cannot play it yet.

In your strings is hid a music that no hand hath e'er let fall,
In your soul is sealed a pleasure that you have not known at all;
Pleasure subtle as your spirit, strange and slender as your frame,
Fiercer than the pain that folds you, softer than your sorrow's name.

Not as mine, my soul's annointed, not as mine the rude and light
Easy mirth of many faces, swaggering pride of song and fight;
Something stranger, something sweeter, something waiting you afar,
Secret as your stricken senses, magic as your sorrows are.

But on this, God's harp supernal, stretched but to be stricken once,
Hoary time is a beginner, Life a bungler, Death a dunce.
But I will not fear to match them - no by God, I will not fear,
I will learn you, I will play you and the stars stand still to hear.

The Strange Music, GK Chesterton (1874 - 1936).
Isn't this gorgeous? I was once sent it by a man on the very cusp of a love affair; I was smitten. The poet was a giant of a man - literally and in terms of literary output, sparring with Shaw, Wilde, Belloc and other luminaries on religion, philosophy and the occult. His poetry is less well known than his books, essays and plays, but are well worth an hour or so's reading out of your life.


  1. ooh that is beautiful.

    I am familiar with his Christian apologetics, and the Father Brown stories.

    He was a big lad, over 20 stone.


  2. Yes, he was a whopper and an argumentative sod.



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