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The Song of Education

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

III. For the Creche

Form 8277059, Sub-Section K

I remember my mother, the day that we met,
A thing I shall never entirely forget;
And I toy with the fancy that, young as I am,
I should know her again if we met in a tram.
  But mother is happy in turning a crank
  That increases the balance in somebody's bank;
  And I feel satisfaction that mother is free
  From the sinister task of attending to me.

They have brightened our room, that is spacious and cool,
With diagrams used in the Idiot School,
And Books for the Blind that will teach us to see;
But mother is happy, for mother is free.
  For mother is dancing up forty-eight floors,
  For love of the Leeds International Stores,
  And the flame of that faith might perhaps have grown cold,
  With the care of a baby of seven weeks old.

For mother is happy in greasing a wheel
For somebody else, who is cornering Steel;
And though our one meeting was not very long,
She took the occasion to sing me this song:
  "O, hush thee, my baby, the time will soon come
  When thy sleep will be broken with hooting and hum;
  There are handles want turning and turning all day,
  And knobs to be pressed in the usual way;

O, hush thee, my baby, take rest while I croon,
For Progress comes early, and Freedom too soon."

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:12 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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