"There is a huge difference between story and plot. Story is honorable and trustworthy; plot is shifty, and best kept under house arrest."

- Stephen King
The Earth's Vigil, by G. K. Chesterton



(It has been my custom to post a poem by Chesterton every Christmas. But I didn't do that this year. I thought of posting a New Year's poem tonight, but it looks as if Chesterton didn't write any. This, however, is close. Happy New Year.)

The old earth keepeth her watch the same,
Alone in a voiceless void doth stand,
Her orange flowers in her bosom flame,
Her gold ring in her hand,
The surfs of the long gold-crested morns
Break evermore at her great robe's hem,
And evermore come the bleak moon-horns,
But she keepeth not watch for them.

She keepeth her watch through the aeons,
But the heart of her groweth not old,
For the peal of the bridegroom's paeons,
And the tale she once was told.

The nations shock and the cities reel,
The empires travail and rive and rend,
And she looks on havoc and smoke and steel,
And knoweth it is not the end.
The faiths may choke and the powers despair,
The powers re-arise and the faiths renew,
She is only a maiden, waiting there,
For the love whose word is true.
She keepeth her watch through the aeons,
But the heart of her groweth not old,
For the peal of the bridegroom's paeons,
And the tale she once was told.

Through the cornfield's gleam and the cottage shade,
They wait unwearied, the young and old,
Mother for child and man for maid,
For a love that once was told.
The hair grows grey under thatch or slates,
The eyes grow dim behind lattice panes,
The earth-race wait as the old earth waits,
And the hope in the heart remains.
She keepeth her watch through the aeons,
But the heart of her groweth not old,
For the peal of the bridegroom's paeons,
And the tale she once was told.

God's gold ring on her hand is bound,
She fires with blossom the grey hill-sides,
Her fields are quickened, her forests crowned,
While the love of her heart abides,
And we from the fears that fret and mar,
Look up in hours and behold a while
Her face, colossal, mid star on star,
Still looking forth with a smile.
She keepeth her watch through the aeons,
But the heart of her groweth not old,
For the peal of the bridegroom's paeons,
And the tale she once was told.

Trackbacks:

Trackback URL: http://brandywinebooks.net/bloo.trackback.php/5169.

Comments on "The Earth's Vigil, by G. K. Chesterton":
1. Shelley - 01/01/2013 11:22 am EST

Impossible to hear those old poems without picturing them being read out loud to family members and friends.

Not a bad idea.

Leave a Comment:
Name:
URL: (optional)
Email: (optional - will not be published)
Comment:

Notify me via email if any followup comments are added to this post (show help)