The Napoleon of Notting Hill
GILBERT K. CHESTERTON
|With Seven Illustrations by|
WILLIAM GRAHAM ROBERTSON
and a Map of the Seat of War
|LONDON : JOHN LANE : THE|
BODLEY HEAD :: NEW YORK
JOHN LANE COMPANY :: MCMXIV
By John Lane
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.
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
- In the dark entrance there appeared a flaming figure
Frontispiece Facing page
- City men out on all fours in a field covered with veal cutlets
- 'I'm king of the castle'
- 'I bring homage to my king'
- Map of the seat of war
- King Auberon descended from the omnibus with dignity
- 'A fine evening, sir,' said the chemist
- 'Wayne, it was all a joke'