The Human Tree

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The Human Tree
by Gilbert Keith Chesterton

Many have Earth's lovers been,
Tried in seas and wars, I ween;
Yet the mightiest have I seen:
     Yea, the best saw I.
One that in a field alone
Stood up stiller than a stone
     Lest a moth should fly.

Birds had nested in his hair,
On his shoon were mosses rare,
Insect empires flourished there,
     Worms in ancient wars;
But his eyes burn like a glass,
Hearing a great sea of grass
     Roar towards the stars.

From them to the human tree
Rose a cry continually:
'Thou art still, our Father, we
     Fain would have thee nod.
Make the skies as blood below thee,
Though thou slay us, we shall know thee.
     Answer us, O God!

'Show thine ancient fame and thunder,
Split the stillness once asunder,
Lest we whisper, lest we wonder
     Art thou there at all?'
But I saw him there alone,
Standing stiller than a stone
     Lest a moth should fall.