Tuesday, May 6

Chesterton's Ballad of the White Horse


Before the gods that made the gods
Had seen their sunrise pass,
The White Horse of the White Horse Vale
Was cut out of the grass.

Before the gods that made the gods
Had drunk at dawn their fill,
The White Horse of the White Horse Vale
Was hoary on the hill.

Age beyond age on British land,
Aeons on aeons gone,
Was peace and war in western hills,
And the White Horse looked on.

For the White Horse knew England
When there was none to know;
He saw the first oar break or bend,
He saw heaven fall and the world end,
O God, how long ago.

For the end of the world was long ago,
And all we dwell to-day
As children of some second birth,
Like a strange people left on earth
After a judgment day.

For the end of the world was long ago,
When the ends of the world waxed free,
When Rome was sunk in a waste of slaves,
And the sun drowned in the sea.

3 comments:

TomG said...

Nice photo!

George Grant said...

Tom: It's a great photo! Thanks! Alas, the other one you tried to send me didn't fully transmit, so I wasn't able to use it.

I am so glad you and your family have such a great context for all my Alfred enthusings! Have you got a good copy of Chesterton's Ballad of the White Horse? What about the new Bernard Cornwell novels?

Linda said...

The "Ballad of the White Horse" is an ever-stirring poem. Even the beginning affords goosebumps!