A Ballade Of Suicide Poem by Gilbert Keith Chesterton

A Ballade Of Suicide

Rating: 3.0


The gallows in my garden, people say,
Is new and neat and adequately tall;
I tie the noose on in a knowing way
As one that knots his necktie for a ball;
But just as all the neighbours--on the wall--
Are drawing a long breath to shout "Hurray!"
The strangest whim has seized me. . . . After all
I think I will not hang myself to-day.

To-morrow is the time I get my pay--
My uncle's sword is hanging in the hall--
I see a little cloud all pink and grey--
Perhaps the rector's mother will not call-- I fancy that I heard from Mr. Gall
That mushrooms could be cooked another way--
I never read the works of Juvenal--
I think I will not hang myself to-day.

The world will have another washing-day;
The decadents decay; the pedants pall;
And H.G. Wells has found that children play,
And Bernard Shaw discovered that they squall,
Rationalists are growing rational--
And through thick woods one finds a stream astray
So secret that the very sky seems small--
I think I will not hang myself to-day.

Envoi

Prince, I can hear the trumpet of Germinal,
The tumbrils toiling up the terrible way;
Even to-day your royal head may fall,
I think I will not hang myself to-day.

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Thabani Khumalo 16 June 2015

I have a vision to write like this, only if god would bless me enough to.ghtyd

5 12 Reply
Chris Mendros 21 March 2007

it's never too far away, is it?

10 6 Reply
Ella Rose 19 April 2016

Powerful words Keith...I know about suicide all too well.. :) -EllaRose

7 3 Reply
Kondwelani Tembo Nguluwe 09 November 2018

I think I will not hang myself to-day To-morrow is the time I get my pay.

0 1 Reply
Adrian Flett 09 November 2018

'And through thick woods one finds a stream astray, So secret the very shy seems small-' It is often the small things that persuade us 'not to do it today'

0 1 Reply
Aniruddha Pathak 10 November 2019

A lovely Ballade that ends with an equally beautiful envoi.

0 0 Reply
Sylvia Frances Chan 09 November 2019

Due to Poetry, no suicie at all. Marvelous poem. CONGRATULATIONS for being honoured with the Classic Poem Of The Day. Bit an eerie poem with menyioning that suicide. Rest In Peace Gilbert Sir!

0 0 Reply
Andrew Blakemore 09 November 2019

A very powerful piece indeed

0 0 Reply
Edward Kofi Louis 09 November 2019

I can hear the trumpet! ! ! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us.

0 0 Reply
Tamara Beryl Latham 09 November 2019

Excellent poetic rhyming form. Certainly a favorite of mine. Great post. : -)

0 0 Reply
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