Antichrist, or the Reunion of Christendom: An Ode

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Antichrist, or the Reunion of Christendom: An Ode
by Gilbert Keith Chesterton
"A Bill which has shocked the conscience of every Christian community in Europe."-Mr. F. E. Smith, on the Welsh Church Act 1914.

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!

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.

The author died in 1936, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 75 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.