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The Song Against Songs

 The song of the sorrow of Melisande is a weary song and a dreary song,
  The glory of Mariana's grange had got into great decay,
  The song of the Raven Never More has never been called a cheery song,
  And the brightest things in Baudelaire are anything else but gay.

  But who will write us a riding song,
  Or a hunting song or a drinking song,
  Fit for them that arose and rode
  When day and the wine were red?
  But bring me a quart of claret out,
  And I will write you a clinking song,
  A song of war and a song of wine
  And a song to wake the dead.

  The song of the fury of Fragolette is a florid song and a torrid song,
  The song of the sorrow of Tara is sung to a harp unstrung,
  The song of the cheerful Shropshire Lad I consider a perfectly horrid song,
  And the song of the happy Futurist is a song that can't be sung.

  But who will write us a riding song
  Or a fighting song or a drinking song,
  Fit for the fathers of you and me,
  That knew how to think and thrive?
  But the song of Beauty and Art and Love
  Is simply an utterly stinking song,
  To double you up and drag you down
  And damn your soul alive.

 

Gilbert Keith Chesterton


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