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Poem: “The Aristocrat”

The Aristocrat

The Devil is a gentleman, and asks you down to stay
At his little place at What’sitsname (it isn’t far away).
They say the sport is splendid; there is always something new,
And fairy scenes, and fearful feats that none but he can do;
He can shoot the feathered cherubs if they fly on the estate,
Or fish for Father Neptune with the mermaids for a bait;
He scaled amid the staggering stars that precipice, the sky,
And blew his trumpet above heaven, and got by mastery
The starry crown of God Himself, and shoved it on the shelf;
But the Devil is a gentleman, and doesn’t brag himself.

O blind your eyes and break your heart and hack your hand away,
And lose your love and shave your head; but do not go to stay
At the little place in What’sitsname where folks are rich and clever;
The golden and the goodly house, where things grow worse for ever;
There are things you need not know of, though you live and die in vain,
There are souls more sick of pleasure than you are sick of pain;
There is a game of April Fool that’s played behind its door,
Where the fool remains for ever and the April comes no more,
Where the splendour of the daylight grows drearier than the dark,
And life droops like a vulture that once was such a lark:
And that is the Blue Devil that once was the Blue Bird;
For the Devil is a gentleman, and doesn’t keep his word.

G. K. Chesterton


G. K. Chesterton (29 May 1874 – 14 June 1936) was an English writer, philosopher, biographer, and literary and art critic. He who wrote 80 books, hundreds of poems, approximately 200 short stories, and several plays. He wrote the book called The Everlasting Man, which led a young atheist named C.S. Lewis to become a Christian. His best-known character is the priest-detective Father Brown who appeared in short stories. His most famous novel is The Man Who Was Thursday. He was a Christian before he became a Catholic. Christian themes and symbolism appear in much of his writing.
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  • Pax

    What a great poem. 🙂

  • frank chowaniec

    So timely in associating the party of blue with blue devils. The association is mine. Any Catholic who doesn’t see it fits into the basket of deplorables, the real one.