CHESTERTON, GILBERT KEITH (1874-1936)
AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT OF 'BALLADE OF ORTHODOXY', 28 lines in three eight-line stanzas and a four-line envoy, 2 pages, lined quarto, neatly serrated at head where removed from a pad, not dated
I dont like Following the Gleam.
Or light Within. Or Life, (the Higher).
These new religions do not seem
To be the things that I require...
Yet shall we know it for no dream.
Among the trees a tiny spire,
The wide wood and the healing stream,
The ancient inn, the open fire,
Where men may laugh and still admire,
Where men may fight and yet forgive,
The wine-cup of the world's desire,
The creed by which a Man Can live...
POSSIBLY UNPUBLISHED: this ballad was not included in Chesterton's Collected Poems, 1950, or mentioned in the bibliographies. Very few autograph poetical manuscripts by Chesterton are held in British institutions (two small collections in the British Library and St Paul's School). The major collection is in the John Carroll University Library, Cleveland, Ohio.
Chesterton published his prose exposition of his Christian beliefs, Orthodoxy, which he called 'a sort of slovenly autobiography' in September 1908.
REFERENCES: G.K. Chesterton: A Bibliography, edited by John Sullivan, 1958; or Supplement, 1968.