Hilaire Belloc

(27 July 1870 – 16 July 1953 / La Celle-Saint-Cloud)

On Vital Statistics


Ill fares the land to hast'ning ills a prey (1)
Where wealth accumulates and men decay.'
But how much more unfortunate are those
Where wealth declines and population grows!

(1)This line is execrable; and I note it.
I quote it as the faulty poet wrote it.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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Comments about this poem (On Vital Statistics by Hilaire Belloc )

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  • Ian Fraser (2/28/2010 5:16:00 PM)

    I don't know if Belloc is deliberately missing the point. The one he is making is valid enough but cannot be made at the expense of the former, which is saying something else. The effect is to make his own seem rather shallow. Incidentally Johnson (of dictionary fame) was not at all a bad poet and emerges unweakened by the jibe. (Report) Reply

  • Ian Fraser (2/28/2010 5:16:00 PM)

    I don't know if Belloc is deliberately missing the point. The one he is making is valid enough but cannot be made at the expense of the former, which is saying something else. The effect is to make his own seem rather shallow. Incidentally Johnson (of dictionary fame) was not at all a bad poet and emerges unweakened by the jibe. (Report) Reply

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