Selected by Dan Clendenin
G.K. Chesterton (1874–1936)
The End of Fear
Though the whole heaven be one-eyed with the moon,
Though the dead landscape seem a thing possessed,
Yet I go singing through that land oppressed
As one that singeth through the flowers of June.
No more, with forest-fingers crawling free
O’er dark flint wall that seems a wall of eyes,
Shall evil break my soul with mysteries
Of some world-poison maddening bush and tree.
No more shall leering ghosts of pimp and king
With bloody secrets veiled before me stand.
Last night I held all evil in my hand
Closed: and behold it was a little thing.
I broke the infernal gates and looked on him
Who fronts the strong creation with a curse;
Even the god of a lost universe,
Smiling above his hideous cherubim.
And pierced far down in his soul’s crypt unriven
The last black crooked sympathy and shame,
And hailed him with that ringing rainbow name
Erased upon the oldest book in heaven.
Like emptied idiot masks, sin’s loves and wars
Stare at me now: for in the night I broke
The bubble of a great world’s jest, and woke
Laughing with laughter such as shakes the stars.
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