“The Mortal Answers” a Poem by G.K. Chesterton


Arthur Rackham, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” 

“The Mortal Answers” by G.K. Chesterton

“⁠. . . . . . Come away—
With the fairies, hand in hand,
For the world is more full of weeping
⁠Than you can understand.”  ~W. B. Yeats.


FROM the Wood of the Old Wives’ Fables
⁠They glittered out of the grey,
And with all the Armies of Elf-land
⁠I strove like a beast at bay;

With only a right arm wearied,
⁠Only a red sword worn,
And the pride of the House of Adam
⁠That holdeth the stars in scorn.

For they came with chains of flowers
⁠And lilies lances free,
There in the quiet greenwood
⁠To take my grief from me.

And I said, “Now all is shaken
⁠When heavily hangs the brow,
When the hope of the years is taken
⁠The last star sunken. Now—

“Hear, you chattering cricket,
⁠Hear, you spawn of the sod,
The strange strong cry in the darkness
⁠Of one man praising God,

“That out of the night and nothing
⁠With travail of birth he came
To stand one hour in the sunlight
⁠Only to say her name.

“Falls through her hair the sunshine
⁠In showers; it touches, see,
Her high bright cheeks in turning;
⁠Ah, Elfin Company,

“The world is hot and cruel,
⁠We are weary of heart and hand,
But the world is more full of glory:
⁠Than you can understand.”

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