English poetry

Poems in English



A Ballad Of Suicide

The gallows in my garden, people say,

Is new and neat and adequately tall;
I tie the noose on in a knowing way

As one that knots his necktie for a ball;
But just as all the neighbours-on the wall –
Are drawing a long breath to shout “Hurray!”

The strangest whim has seized me. . . . After all
I think I will not hang myself to-day.
To-morrow is the time I get my pay-

My uncle’s sword is hanging in the hall –
I see a little cloud all pink and grey-

Perhaps the rector’s mother will not call – I fancy that I heard from Mr. Gall
That mushrooms could be cooked another way-

I never read the works of Juvenal –
I think I will not hang myself to-day.
The world will have another washing-day;

The decadents decay; the pedants pall;
And H. G. Wells has found that children play,

And Bernard Shaw discovered that they squall,
Rationalists are growing rational –
And through thick woods one finds a stream astray

So secret that the very sky seems small –
I think I will not hang myself to-day.

ENVOI
Prince, I can hear the trumpet of Germinal,
The tumbrils toiling up the terrible way;

Even to-day your royal head may fall,
I think I will not hang myself to-day

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Poem A Ballad Of Suicide - G K Chesterton