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Antichrist, or the Reunion of Christendom: An Ode

Gilbert Keith Chesterton 1874 (Kensington, London) – 1936 (Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire)

Are they clinging to their crosses,
  F. E. Smith,
Where the Breton boat-fleet tosses,
  Are they, Smith?
Do they, fasting, trembling, bleeding,
  Wait the news from this our city?
Groaning "That's the Second Reading!"
  Hissing "There is still Committee!"
If the voice of Cecil falters,
  If McKenna's point has pith,
Do they tremble for their altars?
  Do they, Smith?

Russian peasants round their pope
  Huddled, Smith,
Hear about it all, I hope,
  Don't they, Smith?
In the mountain hamlets clothing
  Peaks beyond Caucasian pales,
Where Establishment means nothing
  And they never heard of Wales,
Do they read it all in Hansard --
  With a crib to read it with --
"Welsh Tithes: Dr. Clifford answered."
  Really, Smith?

In the lands where Christians were,
  F. E. Smith,
In the little lands laid bare,
  Smith, O Smith!
Where the Turkish bands are busy
  And the Tory name is blessed
Since they hailed the Cross of Dizzy
  On the banners from the West!
Men don't think it half so hard if
  Islam burns their kin and kith,
Since a curate lives in Cardiff
  Saved by Smith.

It would greatly, I must own,
  Soothe me, Smith!
If you left this theme alone,
  Holy Smith!
For your legal cause or civil
  You fight well and get your fee;
For your God or dream or devil
  You will answer, not to me.
Talk about the pews and steeples
  And the cash that goes therewith!
But the souls of Christian peoples...
  Chuck it, Smith!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:15 min read
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Gilbert Keith Chesterton

Gilbert Keith Chesterton was an influential English writer of the early 20th century His diverse output included journalism philosophy poetry biography Christian apologetics fantasy and detective fiction Gilbert Keith Chesterton KC*SG was an English writer, philosopher, lay theologian, and literary and art critic. He has been referred to as the "prince of paradox". Time magazine observed of his writing style: "Whenever possible Chesterton made his points with popular sayings, proverbs, allegories—first carefully turning them inside out." more…

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