Palm Sunday: ‘The Donkey’ by G.K. Chesterton

G. K. Chesterton tells the story from the donkey's point of view.

By David Mills Published on March 29, 2015

DAVID MILLS — Following is the English writer G. K. Chesterton’s poem, “The Donkey.” It appeared in his second book of poetry, The Wild Knight, in 1900, as he was moving from the Unitarianism of his youth to Christianity. Rudyard Kipling, given a copy of the book, commented that this poem “stuck in my mind.” It proved to be a poem often reprinted and recited.

The Donkey

By G. K. Chesterton

When fishes flew and forests walked
   And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood
   Then surely I was born.
With monstrous head and sickening cry
   And ears like errant wings,
The devil’s walking parody
   On all four-footed things.
The tattered outlaw of the earth,
   Of ancient crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
   I keep my secret still.
Fools! For I also had my hour;
   One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
   And palms before my feet.
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