A CURSE IN FREE VERSE
(This is the only rhyme admitted: otherwise the enchanting lyric is all that the most fastidious fashionable taste could require):
I CURSE PARADOX
I curse the contradictory inconsistencies of the Modern Mind:
I curse and curse and curse…
Those who dogmatise about the folly of dogma:
Those who moralise about the non-existence of morals:
Those who say people are too stupid to educate their children
But not too stupid to educate each other’s:
Those who say we can be certain of nothing.
Because we are so certain of all the exploded evolutionary hypotheses
That show we can be certain of nothing…
But what are all these inconsistencies –
Compared with the conduct of Those Who
Deliberately call Their House Christmas Cottage,
And then go away from it at Christmas?
I hate those who wage and win twenty unjust wars
And then say “The World now requires Peace”,
Who then make a League for Peace and use it to make another War:
I hate those who intemperately denounce Beer and call it Temperance;
Those who deny what science says about Cancer
And what Christianity says about Calvary
And Call the Contradiction Christian Science.
I hate those who want to Rise out of Barbarism
By running about naked and grubbing up roots and herbs;
But what are all these aversions….?
Compared with the blighting horror and hatred
With which I regard
THOSE WHO DELIBERATELY CALL THEIR HOUSE CHRISTMAS COTTAGE,
AND THEN GO AWAY FROM IT AT CHRISTMAS?
(The Poet is removed, cursing….)
This ‘poem’ turns up on page 178 of the hardcover edition, and is one of many bits and pieces in the book, poems and prose that Chesterton either never published or which had been published in ephemera, like newspapers. The interesting thing is that it still makes some very valid points – particularly the bit about parents who are ‘too stupid’ to educate their own children, something our own Government seems convinced of.