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Antichrist, or the Reunion of Christendom: an Ode

"A Bill which has shocked the conscience of every Christian community
in Europe." -- Mr. F. E. Smith, on the Welsh Disestablishment Bill.

Are they clinging to their crosses,
                     F. E. Smith,
Where the Breton boat-fleet tosses,
                     Are they, Smith?
Do they, fasting, trembling, bleeding,
  Wait the news from this our city?
Groaning “That’s the Second Reading!”
  Hissing “There is still Committee!”
If the voice of Cecil falters,
  If McKenna’s point has pith,
Do they tremble for their altars?
                     Do they, Smith?
 
Russian peasants round their pope
                     Huddled, Smith,
Hear about it all, I hope,
                     Don’t they, Smith?
In the mountain hamlets clothing
  Peaks beyond Caucasian pales,
Where Establishment means nothing
  And they never heard of Wales,
Do they read it all in Hansard —
  With a crib to read it with —
“Welsh Tithes: Dr. Clifford answered.”
                     Really, Smith?
 
In the lands where Christians were,
                     F. E. Smith,
In the little lands laid bare,
                     Smith, O Smith!
Where the Turkish bands are busy
  And the Tory name is blessed
Since they hailed the Cross of Dizzy
  On the banners from the West!
Men don’t think it half so hard if
  Islam burns their kin and kith,
Since a curate lives in Cardiff
                     Saved by Smith.
 
It would greatly, I must own,
                     Soothe me, Smith!
If you left this theme alone,
                     Holy Smith!
For your legal cause or civil
  You fight well and get your fee;
For your God or dream or devil
  You will answer, not to me.
Talk about the pews and steeples
  And the cash that goes therewith!
But the souls of Christian peoples...
                     Chuck it, Smith!
Other works by Chesterton ...



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