Gilbert Keith Chesterton

(29 May 1874 – 14 June 1936 / London, England)

A Ballade Of Suicide - Poem by Gilbert Keith Chesterton

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.

Form: Ballade


Comments about A Ballade Of Suicide by Gilbert Keith Chesterton

  • Aniruddha Pathak (11/10/2019 1:36:00 AM)

    A lovely Ballade that ends with an equally beautiful envoi. (Report)Reply

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  • Sylvia Frances Chan (11/9/2019 10:22:00 PM)

    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!
    (Report)Reply

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  • Andrew Blakemore (11/9/2019 1:09:00 PM)

    A very powerful piece indeed (Report)Reply

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  • Edward Kofi Louis (11/9/2019 1:04:00 PM)

    I can hear the trumpet! ! ! !


    Thanks for sharing this poem with us.
    (Report)Reply

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  • Tamara Beryl Latham (11/9/2019 12:51:00 PM)

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

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  • Kingsley Egbukole (11/9/2019 12:15:00 PM)

    An interesting poem. Beautiful reason to shelf evil act. (Report)Reply

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  • Chinedu Dike (11/8/2019 9:08:00 AM)

    Well expressed thoughts and feelings. An insightful work of art nicely crafted with conviction. (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
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  • Michael Walker (11/9/2018 7:14:00 PM)

    An intriguing stream of consciousness. What a refrain, 'I think I will not hang myself today'.
    Robin Williams did hang himself one day.
    (Report)Reply

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  • Kumarmani Mahakul (11/9/2018 11:29:00 AM)

    Touching expression made by Gilbert Keith Chesterton astutely. (Report)Reply

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  • Adrian Flett (11/9/2018 6:04:00 AM)

    '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' (Report)Reply

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  • Kondwelani Tembo Nguluwe (11/9/2018 12:29:00 AM)

    I think I will not hang myself to-day

    To-morrow is the time I get my pay.
    (Report)Reply

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  • Ella Rose (4/19/2016 9:01:00 PM)

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

    7 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Thabani Khumalo (6/16/2015 9:20:00 AM)

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

    5 person liked.
    12 person did not like.
  • (3/21/2007 5:18:00 PM)

    it's never too far away, is it? (Report)Reply

    10 person liked.
    6 person did not like.
Read all 14 comments »




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Read poems about / on: pink, suicide, children, mother, people, sky, world, child, work



Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 1, 2004



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