G. K. CHESTERTON PAPERS. VOL. CLXIII (ff. 128). Poems and fragments of poem ... 

Scope and Content

G. K. CHESTERTON PAPERS. VOL. CLXIII (ff. 128). Poems and fragments of poems on leaves and groups of leaves detached from notebooks; circa 1888-1900. Autograph. The notebooks from which these leaves have been detached either are not in the collections or cannot be identified with certainty. Leaves of poems published during Chesterton's lifetime are placed with the appropriate published work. Poems are listed in alphabetical order of title, or of the first title in a group of contiguous leaves, followed by untitled poems and fragments in alphabetical order of their opening lines.


1. ff. 1-1v. 'A book of wild pictures', with 'The age of reason' and 'Resurrection'; circa 1895. Published in C.W., vol. 10, pp. 196-197, 23, 159.

2. ff. 2-3. 'The calvary'; circa 1892. Published in C.W., vol. 10, p. 31.

3. f. 4. 'The children's hymn (London School Board)'; circa 1895.

4. ff. 5-11. 'A creed', 'Dust' (two stanzas, variant in three stanzas published in G. K.'s Weekly, vol. 26, no. 678 (10 March 1938), p. 437), 'A song of colours' (an earlier version of 'A chord of colours'; see references at Add. 73243 A), 'The temple of earth' (published in C.W., vol. 10, p. 78, and in facsimile on p. 79; see also Add. 73305 A), 'A portrait' (published in C.W., vol. 10, p. 366); circa 1894.

5. f. 12. 'The eternal heart'; circa 1895. Published in C.W., vol. 10, p. 209.

6. ff. 13-15. 'Evolution'; circa 1896. Published in C.W., vol. 10, pp. 437-438.

7. f. 16. 'Free & alone'; circa 1900.

8. ff. 17-19v. 'Kakkopodescatrixandrometrupatyphusisatox and its ways'; circa 1896. The complete poem; for two incomplete versions see Add. 73305 A. Published in full in The G. K. Chesterton Quarterly, no. 19 (Summer 2001), pp. 2-3.

9. f. 20. Final three stanzas of 'Lawrence'; circa 1895. This leaf was published erroneously as the end of 'Eheu fugaces' (which is actually by Hilaire Belloc, but in Chesterton's hand, at Add. 73309 D) in C.W., vol. 10, pp. 434-435, but is identical to the final stanzas of 'Lawrence' in Add. 73326 E, published in C.W., vol. 10, pp. 298-299.

10. ff. 21-31. 'The legend of the pessimist' (see also Add. 73305 A), 'The likeness of the appearance of a man' (with a draft of the first stanza), two untitled stanzas of 'The troubadour of God' (see references at Add. 73329 A), 'A song of four fancies' (see also f. 78 and Add. 73333 B for another version entitled 'The world'), untitled poem beginning "Starry, colossal, blinding, bare" (published as 'A man' in C.W., vol. 10, p. 227; see also Add. 73333 B); circa 1896.

11. ff. 32-34. 'Lines to Waterloo Station', with two copies of the final leaf; circa 1896. Published in part in Return to Chesterton, one leaf in facsimile in Chesterton Continued, p. 27, and in full in C.W., vol. 10, pp. 446-447.

12. ff. 35-36. 'Lost property'; circa 1897. A variant of the poem beginning "The headless gentleman . . ." in Add. 73345 B.

13. ff. 37. 'A mediaeval dialogue'; circa 1897.

14. ff. 39-51. Poems written on the leaves of a single gathering of a notebook, in some cases after the notebook had been broken up. Includes: 'The new rejected addresses: imitations of modern poets by E. C. B. [i.e. Edmund Clerihew Bentley] and G. K. C., of which only the following, all by Chesterton, survive: part of no. 3, no. 4 'Song, by Lewis Morris', no. 5 'The garden, by Dante Gabriel Rosetti', and part of no. 6 'The guerdon, by William Morris'; 'December 25th, 1891'; 'Love'; circa 1891.

15. f. 52. 'A nursery rhyme'; circa 1893 Published in C.W., vol. 10, p. 65.

16. ff. 53-63. 'A nursery rhyme', preceded by a list of titles of poems and followed by sketches and the opening of an essay 'Parables'; circa 1896. A different poem from the preceding.

17. ff. 64-69. 'An old riddle' (published in C.W., vol. 10, pp. 556-567; see also Add. 73339 B), 'Ego' (see references at Add. 73345 A) (ff. 66-69); circa 1894.

18. ff. 70-73. 'Picquart', two versions; circa 1898. See also Add. 73305 A.

19. ff. 74-78. 'Self', followed by an essay on the Book of Job; circa 1892.

20. f. 79. Untitled draft of two stanzas of 'A song of four fancies'; circa 1896. See also ff. 29-30 above.

21. f. 80. 'Still', draft of one stanza; circa 1898.

22. ff. 81-88. 'Suddenly in the midst' (published in C.W., vol. 10, p. 75), followed by 'A walk', untitled poem beginning "A lady plays the piano" (published as one poem in C.W., vol. 10, p. 98, although appearing separately as 'A walk' and 'A glimpse' in Add. 73334), 'The Nativity by Botticelli' (published in C.W., vol. 10, p. 64), untitled poem beginning "Do I say noone has loved as I love?" (published as 'Love' in C.W., vol. 10, p. 62), untitled poem beginning "Do you call the ideal the impossible" (published as 'Permanence' in C.W., vol. 10, p. 67), 'Education' (published in C.W., vol. 10, p. 35), and untitled poem beginning "A hill that smooth & strong"; circa 1894. For other versions of most of these poems see Add. 73334.

23. ff. 89-90. 'To William Somervile Esq, on his poem called The Chace'; circa 1894.

24. f. 91. 'Walton-on-the-Naze'; circa 1894. Published in C.W., vol. 10, p. 487, and in facsimile on p. 492.

25. f. 92. Untitled fragment of 5 lines from 'A word' beginning "[Ea]rth's giant sins bowed down to it"; circa 1893. See references at Add. 73323 C.

26. f. 93. Two stanzas beginning "Cast her in outer darkness old"; [1899]. These form the final stanzas of one of the poems written in memory of Gertrude Blogg, in Add. 73345 D, but is published as 'To Frances' in C.W., vol. 10, p. 371.

27. f. 94v. Two stanzas beginning "Chords of an empty lyre"; circa 1896. See references at Add. 73319 D.

28. ff. 95-96v. Four stanzas beginning "He will be best: when thought & law & power"; circa 1892. Includes two drafts.

29. f. 97v. Three stanzas beginning "Homer, whose primal chiefs immense"; circa 1898. Verses to Homer, Dante and Shakespeare.

30. ff. 98-101. Eight stanzas each separately titled, the first beginning "If I were a fish I should"; circa 1900. Published as 'Thoughts and reflections' in C.W., vol. 10. pp. 482-485.

31. ff. 102-103v. Stanza beginning "In a quiet place; by a fence & copse", with a further draft of the refrain; circa 1895.

32. f. 104. Verses beginning "In the uttermost stillness, roofed of stars"; circa 1897.

33. ff. 105-106v. Ten stanzas beginning "Is the whole thing gone to Hades"; circa 1898. On the Boileau family. E. C. Bentley married Violet Boileau in 1902.

34. ff. 107-109. Eleven stanzas beginning "Lawrence, with quiet face, scarce lit"; circa 1898. Verses to various friends, including Frances Blogg, written in the same style as those to Homer, etc., f. 96 above. Published as 'Friends' in C.W., vol. 10, pp. 275-276. See also Add. 73305 B, 73345 B.

35. ff. 110-110v. Fragmentary verses beginning "Lessons of dawns & eves & lore of weed"; circa 1895.

36. f. 111. Two stanzas beginning "Many have been her lovers"; circa 1896. See also Add. 73340 A.

37. f. 112. Two stanzas beginning "No fossilled hieroglyph on earth's dark wall"; circa 1896. The last line forms the last line of 'The snail', see also Add. 73244 A.

38. ff. 113-113v. Seven stanzas beginning "Revered, beloved, o you that hold"; circa 1892. Published as 'Mirth' in C.W., vol. 10, pp. 361-362.

39. f. 114. Ten lines beginning "The mad moth gasps in the rapids, the loose down swirls oer the mead"; circa 1892.

40. ff. 116-117v. Eight lines beginning "The seven huge labours of the Son of Man"; circa 1896.

41. ff. 118-118v. Three stanzas beginning "The woods are bronzed with autumn"; circa 1892. Published as 'Autumn' in C.W., vol. 10, p. 194.

42. f. 119. Two stanzas beginning "There is one duty in the book of . . ."; circa 1894.

43. f. 120. Limerick beginning "There was an old person of Lapland"; circa 1890. Published as 'Limerick' in C.W., vol. 10, p. 61. With limericks by Cecil Chesterton and E. C. Bentley.

44. f. 121. Two stanzas beginning "Thunder above me blessed be the thunder"; circa 1898. Part of the 'World lover' sequence of poems; see references at Add. 73338 C.

45. f. 122. Two stanzas beginning "To plant the lost God's banner old"; circa 1898. The same verses appear on f. 24 of the manuscript of The Wild Knight (Add. 73243 A), but the preceding leaf is also missing in that copy.

46. ff. 123-124. Four stanzas beginning "When all the world was void & dark"; circa 1900. Copy?

47. f. 125. Two stanzas beginning "When our tomes & his toil were no matter"; circa 1894. Five other stanzas, taken from a typewritten copy of ten stanzas in the material collected by Maisie Ward in Add. 73305 A and in Add. 73481, are published as 'Our Lady of Wain (To Mildred Wain)' in C.W., vol. 10, pp. 310-311.

48. ff. 126-127. Two stanzas beginning "When the stars with a passion rang" and stanza beginning "This is the sabbath word"; circa 1894.

49. f. 128. Seven stanzas beginning "Whirling his axe above, a stinging blow struck he", with a drawing of a child riding a large horse; circa 1892. Probably part of a draft of 'Herrmannschladt', see Add. 73329 D.


  • f. 120 Cecil Edward Chesterton, brother of G K Chesterton; journalist: Limerick by Cecil Edward Chesterton: circa 1890.
  • f. 120 Edmund Clerihew Bentley, author: Limerick by Edmund Clerihew Bentley: circa 1890.

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