The Praise of Dust

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The Praise of Dust
by Gilbert Keith Chesterton

"What of vile dust?" the preacher said.
     Methought the whole world woke,
The dead stone lived beneath my foot,
     And my whole body spoke.

"You, that play tyrant to the dust,
     And stamp its wrinkled face,
This patient star that flings you not
     Far into homeless space.

"Come down out of your dusty shrine
     The living dust to see,
The flowers that at your sermon's end
     Stand blazing silently.

"Rich white and blood-red blossom; stones,
     Lichens like fire encrust;
A gleam of blue, a glare of gold,
     The vision of the dust.

"Pass them all by: till, as you come
     Where, at a city's edge,
Under a tree--I know it well--
     Under a lattice ledge,

"The sunshine falls on one brown head.
     You, too, O cold of clay,
Eater of stones, may haply hear
     The trumpets of that day

"When God to all his paladins
     By his own splendour swore
To make a fairer face than heaven,
     Of dust and nothing more."