Poem – The Whale 

The Whale that wanders round the Pole

Is not a table fish.

You cannot bake or boil him whole

Nor serve him in a dish;
But you may cut his blubber up

And melt it down for oil.

And so replace the colza bean

(A product of the soil).
These facts should all be noted down

And ruminated on,

By every boy in Oxford town
Who wants to be a Don. 

Poem – The South Country

When I am living in the Midlands 

That are sodden and unkind, 

I light my lamp in the evening: 

My work is left behind; 

And the great hills of the South Country 

Come back into my mind. 
The great hills of the South Country 

They stand along the sea; 

And it’s there walking in the high woods 

That I could wish to be, 

And the men that were boys when I was a boy 

Walking along with me. 
The men that live in North England 

I saw them for a day: 

Their hearts are set upon the waste fells, 

Their skies are fast and grey; 

From their castle-walls a man may see 

The mountains far away. 
The men that live in West England 

They see the Severn strong, 

A-rolling on rough water brown 

Light aspen leaves along. 

They have the secret of the Rocks, 

And the oldest kind of song. 
But the men that live in the South Country 

Are the kindest and most wise, 

They get their laughter from the loud surf, 

And the faith in their happy eyes 

Comes surely from our Sister the Spring 

When over the sea she flies; 

The violets suddenly bloom at her feet, 

She blesses us with surprise. 
I never get between the pines 

But I smell the Sussex air; 

Nor I never come on a belt of sand 

But my home is there. 

And along the sky the line of the Downs 

So noble and so bare. 
A lost thing could I never find, 

Nor a broken thing mend: 

And I fear I shall be all alone 

When I get towards the end. 

Who will there be to comfort me 

Or who will be my friend? 
I will gather and carefully make my friends 

Of the men of the Sussex Weald; 

They watch the stars from silent folds, 

They stiffly plough the field. 

By them and the God of the South Country 

My poor soul shall be healed. 
If I ever become a rich man, 

Or if ever I grow to be old, 

I will build a house with deep thatch 

To shelter me from the cold, 

And there shall the Sussex songs be sung 

And the story of Sussex told. 
I will hold my house in the high wood 

Within a walk of the sea, 

And the men that were boys when I was a boy 

Shall sit and drink with me. 

Poem – Rebel 

There is a wall of which the stones 

Are lies and bribes and dead men’s bones. 

And wrongfully this evil wall 

Denies what all men made for all, 

And shamelessly this wall surrounds 

Our homesteads and our native grounds. 
But I will gather and I will ride, 

And I will summon a countryside, 

And many a man shall hear my halloa 

Who never had thought the horn to follow; 

And many a man shall ride with me 

Who never had thought on earth to see 

High Justice in her armoury. 
When we find them where they stand, 

A mile of men on either hand, 

I mean to charge from right away 

And force the flanks of their array, 

And press them inward from the plains, 

And drive them clamouring down the lanes, 

And gallop and harry and have them down, 

And carry the gates and hold the town. 

Then shall I rest me from my ride 

With my great anger satisfied. 
Only, before I eat and drink, 

When I have killed them all, I think 

That I will batter their carven names, 

And slit the pictures in their frames, 

And burn for scent their cedar door, 

And melt the gold their women wore, 

And hack their horses at the knees, 

And hew to death their timber trees, 

And plough their gardens deep and through— 

And all these things I mean to do 

For fear perhaps my little son 

Should break his hands, as I have done. 

Poem – Month Of  February – Hilaire Belloc

The winter moon has such a quiet car 

That all the winter nights are dumb with rest. 

She drives the gradual dark with drooping crest, 

And dreams go wandering from her drowsy star. 

Because the nights are silent, do not wake: 

But there shall tremble through the general earth, 

And over you, a quickening and a birth. 

The sun is near the hill-tops for your sake. 
The latest born of all the days shall creep 

To kiss the tender eyelids of the year; 

And you shall wake, grown young with perfect sleep, 

And smile at the new world, and make it dear 

With living murmurs more than dreams are deep. 

Silence is dead, my Dawn; the morning’s here.

Poem – Month of January – Hilaire Belloc

It freezes- all across a soundless sky 
The birds go home. The governing dark’s begun: 

The steadfast dark that waits not for a sun; 

The ultimate dark wherein the race shall die. 
Death, with his evil finger to his lip, 

Leers in at human windows, turning spy 

To learn the country where his rule shall lie 

When he assumes perpetual generalship. 
The undefeated enemy, the chill 

That shall benumb the voiceful earth at last, 

Is master of our moment, and has bound 

The viewless wind it-self. There is no sound. 

It freezes. Every friendly stream is fast. 

It freezes; and the graven twigs are still.

Poem – Month  Of August – Hilaire Belloc

The soldier month, the bulwark of the year, 

That never more shall hear such victories told; 

He stands apparent with his heaven-high spear, 

And helmeted of grand Etruscan gold. 

Our harvest is the bounty he has won, 

The loot his fiery temper takes by strength. 

Oh! Paladin of the Imperial sun! 

Oh! crown of all the seasons come at length! 
This is sheer manhood; this is Charlemagne, 

When he with his wide host came conquering home 

From vengeance under Roncesvalles ta’en. 

Or when his bramble beard flaked red with foam 

Of bivouac wine-cups on the Lombard plain, 

What time he swept to grasp the world at Rome.

Poem – The Frog – Hilaire Belloc

Be kind and tender to the Frog, 

And do not call him names, 

As ‘Slimy skin,’ or ‘Polly-wog,’ 

Or likewise ‘Ugly James,’ 

Or ‘Gap-a-grin,’ or ‘Toad-gone-wrong,’ 

Or ‘Bill Bandy-knees’: 

The Frog is justly sensitive 

To epithets like these. 
No animal will more repay 

A treatment kind and fair; 

At least so lonely people say 

Who keep a frog (and, by the way, 

They are extremely rare).

Poem – Courtesy – Hilaire Belloc

Of Courtesy, it is much less 

Than Courage of Heart or Holiness, 

Yet in my Walks it seems to me 

That the Grace of God is in Courtesy. 
On Monks I did in Storrington fall, 

They took me straight into their Hall; 

I saw Three Pictures on a wall, 

And Courtesy was in them all. 
The first the Annunciation; 

The second the Visitation; 

The third the Consolation, 

Of God that was Our Lady’s Son. 
The first was of St. Gabriel; 

On Wings a-flame from Heaven he fell; 

And as he went upon one knee 

He shone with Heavenly Courtesy. 
Our Lady out of Nazareth rode – 

It was Her month of heavy load; 

Yet was her face both great and kind, 

For Courtesy was in Her Mind. 
The third it was our Little Lord, 

Whom all the Kings in arms adored; 

He was so small you could not see 

His large intent of Courtesy. 
Our Lord, that was Our Lady’s Son, 

Go bless you, People, one by one; 

My Rhyme is written, my work is done.