3/6/13

Belloc: “The only man I regularly read”

I LIKE to read myself to sleep in Bed,
A thing that every honest man has done
At one time or another, it is said,
But not as something in the usual run;
Now I from ten years old to forty one
Have never missed a night: and what I need
To buck me up is Gilbert Chesterton,
(The only man I regularly read).


The Illustrated London News is wed
To letter press as stodgy as a bun,
The Daily News might just as well be dead,
The ‘Idler’ has a tawdry kind of fun,
The ‘Speaker’ is a sort of Sally Lunn,
The ‘World’ is like a small unpleasant weed;
I take them all because of Chesterton,
(The only man I regularly read).


The memories of the Duke of Beach Head,
The memories of Lord Hildebrand (his son)
Are things I could have written on my head,
So are the memories of the Comte de Mun,
And as for novels written by the ton,
I’d burn the bloody lot! I know the Breed!
And get me back to with Chesterton
(The only man I regularly read).


ENVOI

Prince, have you read a book called “Thoughts upon
The Ethos of the Athanasian Creed”?
No matter—it is not by Chesterton
(The only man I regularly read).

 ~A nameless Ballade by Hilaire Belloc. Quoted in Return to Chesterton, by Maisie Ward, p. 131.


(Photo from thirdway.eu)

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