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April 7, 2003

G. K. Chesterton on those notoriously cowardly French:
When the long grey lines came flooding upon Paris in the plain,
We stood and drank of the last free air we never could taste again:
They had led us back from the lost battle, to halt we knew not where
And stilled us: and our gaping guns were dumb with our despair.
The grey tribes flowed for ever from the infinite lifeless lands
And a Norman to a Breton spoke, his chin upon his hands.

“There was an end to Ilium; and an end came to Rome;
And a man plays on a painted stage in the land that he calls home;
Arch after arch of triumph, but floor beyond falling floor,
That lead to a low door at last; and beyond that is no door.”

And the Breton to the Norman spoke, like a small child spoke he,
And his sea-blue eyes were empty as his home beside the sea:
“There are more windows in one house than there are eyes to see,
There are more doors in a man’s house, but God has hid the key:
Ruin is a builder of windows; her legend witnesseth
Barbara, the saint of gunners, and a stay in sudden death.”

It seemed the wheel of the world stood still an instant in its turning,
More than the kings of the earth that turned with the turning of Valmy mill:
While trickled the idle tale and the sea-blue eyes were burning,
Still as the heart of a whirlwind the heart of the world stood still.

Read the rest. That is, if, unlike your average France-baiting warblogging mouth-breather, you can read. [11:06 PM]
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Comments on G. K. Chesterton:

N.Z. Bear ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2003, 11:29 PM:

Hey u stoopid Franse luving l0ser! Who u calling a mowth-brieder?

-N.Z. Beer

I mean, Bear.

Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2003, 12:07 AM:

Deep grows the hate of kindred,
Its roots take hold on hell;
No peace or praise can heal it,
But a stranger heals it well.

That's from "An Alliance", another Chesterton poem, written when he believed in a pan-Saxon cause, and grabbed out context.

Don't think that makes it an invalid point.

Marna ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2003, 12:14 AM:

Speaking of out-of-context:

'The Saxon is not like us Normans
His manners are not so polite..."

Marna.

PS -- that email address is not fictitious, just down.

Robert L ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2003, 05:44 AM:

Too bad GKC isn't around to write a contemporary version of "The Man Who Was Thursday," in which a young man is hired as a secret agent to search for Weapons of Mass Destruction, only it turns out after many twists and turns that the mysterious powerful man who hired him is the one who sold those WMD in the first place...

Barry ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2003, 07:38 AM:

Leading to the famous final lines: "how did you know there were WMD's there?" "I saved the receipts."

Jim Treacher ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2003, 02:20 AM:

Who wrote the "I see London, I see France" one? That there was a good one.