By the Babe Unborn

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By the Babe Unborn
by Gilbert Keith Chesterton

If trees were tall and grasses short,
     As in some crazy tale,
If here and there a sea were blue
     Beyond the breaking pale,

If a fixed fire hung in the air
     To warm me one day through,
If deep green hair grew on great hills,
     I know what I should do.

In dark I lie; dreaming that there
     Are great eyes cold or kind,
And twisted streets and silent doors,
     And living men behind.

Let storm clouds come: better an hour,
     And leave to weep and fight,
Than all the ages I have ruled
     The empires of the night.

I think that if they gave me leave
     Within the world to stand,
I would be good through all the day
     I spent in fairyland.

They should not hear a word from me
     Of selfishness or scorn,
If only I could find the door,
     If only I were born.


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.