Poem Hunter
A Ballade Of Suicide
(29 May 1874 – 14 June 1936 / London, England)

A Ballade Of Suicide

Poem By Gilbert Keith Chesterton

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.


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.

User Rating: 3,0 / 5 ( 39 votes ) 14

Comments (14)

A lovely Ballade that ends with an equally beautiful envoi.
Due to Poetry, no suicie at all. Marvelous poem. CONGRATULATIONS for being honoured with the Classic Poem Of The Day. Bit an eerie poem with menyioning that suicide. Rest In Peace Gilbert Sir!
A very powerful piece indeed
I can hear the trumpet! ! ! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us.
Excellent poetic rhyming form. Certainly a favorite of mine. Great post. : -)