This comes with an important qualifier: I've not read all of G.K. Chesterton's poems. However, I don't have much of an excuse now, since just about every known poem by Chesterton can be found in these three thick volumes published by Ignatius Press:
For those keeping score at home, that is some 1600 pages of poetry. Some of it is humorous and witty. Some of it is of debatable quality. Some of it is epic. Much of it is excellent, even outstanding. Anyhow, here is my favorite poem by G.K.:
Gloria in Profundis
There has fallen on earth for a token
A god too great for the sky.
He has burst out of all things and broken
The bounds of eternity:
Into time and the terminal land
He has strayed like a thief or a lover,
For the wine of the world brims over,
Its splendour is split on the sand.
Who is proud when the heavens are humble,
Who mounts if the mountains fall,
If the fixed stars topple and tumble
And a deluge of love drowns all-
Who rears up his head for a crown,
Who holds up his will for a warrant,
Who strives with the starry torrent,
When all that is good goes down?
For in dread of such falling and failing
The fallen angels fell
Inverted in insolence, scaling
The hanging mountain of hell:
But unmeasured of plummet and rod
Too deep for their sight to scan,
Outrushing the fall of man
Is the height of the fall of God.
Glory to God in the Lowest
The spout of the stars in spate-
Where thunderbolt thinks to be slowest
And the lightning fears to be late:
As men dive for sunken gem
Pursuing, we hunt and hound it,
The fallen star has found it
In the cavern of Bethlehem.
For more on Chesterton as a poet, read:
For more on Chesterton at large:
G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936) Author Page | Ignatius Insight
• Articles By and About G. K. Chesterton
• Ignatius Press Books about G. K. Chesterton
• Books by G. K. Chesterton