by G. K. Chesterton
So you have gained the golden crowns, so you have piled together
The laurels and the jewels, the pearls out of the blue,
But I will beat the bounding drum and I will fly the feather
For all the glory I have lost, the good I never knew.
I saw the light of morning pale on princely human faces,
In tales irrevocably gone, in final night enfurled,
I saw the tail of flying fights, a glimpse of burning blisses,
And laughed to think what I had lost—the wealth of all the world.
Yea, ruined in a royal game I was before my cradle;
Was ever gambler hurling gold who lost such things as I?
The purple moth that died an hour ere I was born of
That great green sunset God shall make three days after I die.
When all the lights are lost and done, when all the skies are broken,
Above the ruin of the stars my soul shall sit in state,
With a brain made rich, with the irrevocable sunsets,
And a closed heart happy in the fullness of a fate.
So you have gained the golden crowns and grasped the golden weather,
The kingdoms and the hemispheres that all men buy and sell,
But I will lash the leaping drum and swing the flaring feather,
For the light of seven heavens that are lost to me like hell.