Gilbert Keith Chesterton

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

The Donkey - Poem by Gilbert Keith Chesterton

When fishes flew and forests walked
And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood,
Then surely I was born;

With monstrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings,
The devil's walking parody
On all four-footed things.

The tattered outlaw of the earth,
Of ancient crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
I keep my secret still.

Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet.


Comments about The Donkey by Gilbert Keith Chesterton

  • (6/8/2018 8:04:00 AM)


    I had to recite this poem over sixty years ago for my, what they now call eleven plus exam, I have always loved it and it has stayed in my memory for all time, (Report) Reply

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  • (4/2/2018 5:08:00 PM)


    I remember this from my jnr school And here I am almost 60 years later and I have got the meaning (Report) Reply

  • (4/12/2013 1:52:00 PM)


    This gentle often abused creature played an important part in Christ's Life. It carried Mary to Bethlehem for his birth and was chosen by Jesus to bear him into Jerusalem on his triumphant entry. A glory indeed! (Report) Reply

  • (9/8/2006 3:04:00 PM)


    I've always felt a strange sympathy for donkeys....They are abused and despised by all, yet the gentlest of creatures. Sure they're not the most intelegent creatures, but not by any fault of their own. This poem paints a picture of the donkey's moment of glory...And what a glory it was... Go Donkey! ! (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: moon, fish, fishing



Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 1, 2004



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