To Hilaire Belloc

     For every tiny town or place
     God made the stars especially;
     Babies look up with owlish face
     And see them tangled in a tree:
     You saw a moon from Sussex Downs,
     A Sussex moon, untravelled still,
     I saw a moon that was the town's,
     The largest lamp on Campden Hill.
     Yea; Heaven is everywhere at home
     The big blue cap that always fits,
     And so it is (be calm; they come
     To goal at last, my wandering wits),
     So is it with the heroic thing;
     This shall not end for the world's end,
     And though the sullen engines swing,
     Be you not much afraid, my friend.
     This did not end by Nelson's urn
     Where an immortal England sits--
     Nor where your tall young men in turn
     Drank death like wine at Austerlitz.
     And when the pedants bade us mark
     What cold mechanic happenings
     Must come; our souls said in the dark,
     "Belike; but there are likelier things."
     Likelier across these flats afar
     These sulky levels smooth and free
     The drums shall crash a waltz of war
     And Death shall dance with Liberty;
     Likelier the barricades shall blare
     Slaughter below and smoke above,
     And death and hate and hell declare
     That men have found a thing to love.
     Far from your sunny uplands set
     I saw the dream; the streets I trod
     The lit straight streets shot out and met
     The starry streets that point to God.
     This legend of an epic hour
     A child I dreamed, and dream it still,
     Under the great grey water-tower
     That strikes the stars on Campden Hill.
                             G. K. C.