Gilbert Keith Chesterton

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

The Last Hero - Poem by Gilbert Keith Chesterton

The wind blew out from Bergen from the dawning to the day,
There was a wreck of trees and fall of towers a score of miles away,
And drifted like a livid leaf I go before its tide,
Spewed out of house and stable, beggared of flag and bride.
The heavens are bowed about my head, shouting like seraph wars,
With rains that might put out the sun and clean the sky of stars,
Rains like the fall of ruined seas from secret worlds above,
The roaring of the rains of God none but the lonely love.
Feast in my hall, O foemen, and eat and drink and drain,
You never loved the sun in heaven as I have loved the rain.
The chance of battle changes -- so may all battle be;
I stole my lady bride from them, they stole her back from me.
I rent her from her red-roofed hall, I rode and saw arise,
More lovely than the living flowers the hatred in her eyes.
She never loved me, never bent, never was less divine;
The sunset never loved me, the wind was never mine.
Was it all nothing that she stood imperial in duresse?
Silence itself made softer with the sweeping of her dress.
O you who drain the cup of life, O you who wear the crown,
You never loved a woman's smile as I have loved her frown.

The wind blew out from Bergen to the dawning of the day,
They ride and run with fifty spears to break and bar my way,
I shall not die alone, alone, but kin to all the powers,
As merry as the ancient sun and fighting like the flowers.
How white their steel, how bright their eyes! I love each laughing knave,
Cry high and bid him welcome to the banquet of the brave.
Yea, I will bless them as they bend and love them where they lie,
When on their skulls the sword I swing falls shattering from the sky.
The hour when death is like a light and blood is like a rose, --
You never loved your friends, my friends, as I shall love my foes.

Know you what earth shall lose to-night, what rich uncounted loans,
What heavy gold of tales untold you bury with my bones?
My loves in deep dim meadows, my ships that rode at ease,
Ruffling the purple plumage of strange and secret seas.
To see this fair earth as it is to me alone was given,
The blow that breaks my brow to-night shall break the dome of heaven.
The skies I saw, the trees I saw after no eyes shall see,
To-night I die the death of God; the stars shall die with me;
One sound shall sunder all the spears and break the trumpet's breath:
You never laughed in all your life as I shall laugh in death.


Comments about The Last Hero by Gilbert Keith Chesterton

  • Subhas Chandra Chakra (8/30/2017 10:11:00 AM)


    When on their skulls the sword I swing falls shattering from the sky.
    The hour when death is like a light and blood is like a rose, -
    You never loved your friends, my friends, as I shall love my foes.
    A thrilling poem. Enjoyed reading it.
    Thanks poet for the sharing.
    10++ for it.
    (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Kumarmani Mahakul (8/30/2017 4:28:00 AM)


    It is a beautiful poem having brilliant collocation and nice penmanship.Thanks and congratulations to his soul. (Report) Reply

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (8/30/2017 1:11:00 AM)


    Such an interesting poem with long lines.... (Report) Reply

  • Lantz Pierre (8/30/2017 1:05:00 AM)


    The epic, brash, contentious belligerence of the content, the protagonist is well exaggerated. Bigger than life. A fair literary depiction. But it's the stylistic bravado that truly wins out. The swelling scansion, the bellicose or whispering alliterations, assonance and consonance of his word choices are spot on. Give this one a read out loud in your best Kenneth Branagh doing Shakespeare impersonation. It's almost symphonic. Orchestral. Lush in the mouth and on the ear. (Report) Reply

  • Robert Murray Smith (8/30/2017 12:52:00 AM)


    This poem would have a greater impact with shorter lines. (Report) Reply

  • (9/15/2012 5:35:00 PM)


    One of my favourite poems. The rhythm of the lines and the alliteration somehow captures his defiance. He has played the game and lost but he'll play it to the end. (Report) Reply

Read all 6 comments »



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: wind, alone, sunset, death, purple, heaven, hero, sun, sky, lonely, silence, woman, night, house, rose, rain, smile, red, god, love



Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 1, 2004



[Report Error]