The Latest School

See the flying French depart
Like the bees of Bonaparte,
Swarming up with a most venomous vitality.
Over Baden and Bavaria,
And Brighton and Bulgaria,
Thus violating Belgian neutrality.

And the injured Prussian may
Not unreasonably say
"Why, it cannot be so small a nationality
Since Brixton and Batavia,
Bolivia and Belgravia,
Are bursting with the Belgian neutrality."

By pure Alliteration
You may trace this curious nation,
And respect this somewhat scattered Principality;
When you see a B in Both
You may take your Bible oath
You are violating Belgian neutrality.

by Gilbert Keith Chesterton

Comments (3)

Benjamin Britten set this poem to a choral piece of the same name as part of 'The Flower Songs', which has approx 4 other poems set to music as well. I sang this once as a member of a choral society. It was the most beautiful of them. The poem was a little difficult to locate, being missing from my two collections of John Clare's poems. PoemHunter came through though.
This sonnet is written with the aabb end rhyme. I was wondering if John Clare is the first poet to utilize this format. I've searched other poets and sites and can't find any others who have so when I use it I refer to it as the John Clare Sonnet. Any comments or input would be appreciated... Amos Beck
This sonnet is written with the aabb end rhyme. I was wondering if John Clare is the first poet to utilize this format. I've searched other poets and sites and can't find any others who have so when I use it I refer to it as the John Clare Sonnet. Any comments or input would be appreciated... Amos Beck