Hilaire Belloc

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

On Vital Statistics - Poem by Hilaire Belloc

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.


Comments about On Vital Statistics by Hilaire Belloc

  • (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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  • (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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Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



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