Poem of the Week: A Second Childhood by G.K. Chesterton

17 May 2013

A Second Childhood
By G.K. Chesterton

When all my days are ending
And I have no song to sing,
I think that I shall not be too old
To stare at everything;
As I stared once at a nursery door
Or a tall tree and a swing.

Wherein God's ponderous mercy hangs
On all my sins and me, 
Because He does not take away 
The terror from the tree
And stones still shine along the road 
That are and cannot be. 

Men grow too old for love, my love, 
Men grow too old for wind, 
But I shall not grow too old to see
Unearthly daylight shine,
Changing my chamber's dust to snow 
Till I doubt if it be mine. 

Behold, the crowning mercies melt, 
The first surprises stay; 
And in my dross is dropped a gift 
For which I dare not pray: 
That a man grow used to grief and joy
But not to night and day. 

Men grow too old for love, my love, 
Men grow too old for lies; 
But I shall not grow too old to see 
Enormous night arise, 
A cloud that is larger than the world
And a monster made of eyes. 

Nor am I worthy to unloose 
The latchet of my shoe; 
Or shake the dust from off my feet 
Or the staff that bears me through 
On ground that is too good to last, 
Too solid to be true. 

Men grow too old to woo my love, 
Men grow too old to wed; 
But I shall not grow too old to see 
Hung crazily overhead 
Incredible rafters when I wake
And find that I am not dead. 

A thrill of thunder in my hair: 
Though blackening clouds be plain, 
Still I am stung and startled 
By the first drop of the rain: 
Romance and pride and passion pass
And these are what remain. 

Strange crawling carpets of the grass, 
Wide windows of the sky;
So in this perilous grace of God
With all my sins go I: 
And things grow new though I grow old,
Though I grow old and die. 

Chesterton's words touch me so; I only hope they affect you in a likewise manner. Have a blessed Friday, friends.

2 epistles:

  1. Oh, I so love this! My favorite,
    "Men grow too old for love, my love...
    But I shall not grow too old to see
    Enormous night arise..."
    Some of needn't outgrow the marvel. :)

  2. Ohh, I love this poem too so much: I first read it on Anna's blog from Insanity Comes Naturally and it really touched a chord inside of me! These days I am getting into Chesterton and finding that his writings have true gold-mines of treasure, spiritual and fictional :)). Right now I am starting to read The Ballad of the White Horse and being a piece of long poetry I actually find that I am loving it so far ... Thank you for sharing, Elizabeth and God bless :))


"Gracious words are like a honeycomb; sweetness to the soul and health to the body." —Proverbs 16:24

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