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The Human Tree

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



Many have Earth's lovers been,
Tried in seas and wars, I ween;
Yet the mightiest have I seen:
  Yea, the best saw I.
One that in a field alone
Stood up stiller than a stone
  Lest a moth should fly.

Birds had nested in his hair,
On his shoon were mosses rare,
Insect empires flourished there,
  Worms in ancient wars;
But his eyes burn like a glass,
Hearing a great sea of grass
  Roar towards the stars.

From them to the human tree
Rose a cry continually:
`Thou art still, our Father, we
  Fain would have thee nod.
Make the skies as blood below thee,
Though thou slay us, we shall know thee.
  Answer us, O God!

`Show thine ancient fame and thunder,
Split the stillness once asunder,
Lest we whisper, lest we wonder
  Art thou there at all?'
But I saw him there alone,
Standing stiller than a stone
  Lest a moth should fall.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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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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