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.


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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Petals Azureblue (11/9/2018 12:42:00 AM)

    I hope you do not hang yourself at all okay! ! ! ! ...a dark poem yet a delightful read. Thanks for posting (Report) Reply

  • 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

  • Ella Rose (4/19/2016 9:01:00 PM)

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

  • 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

  • (3/21/2007 5:18:00 PM)

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

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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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