Labor Still

The Kingdom of Heaven

by G.K. Chesterton (b. 1874- d. 1936)


Said the Lord God, “Build a house,
Build it in the gorge of death,
Found it in the throats of hell,
Where the lost sea muttereth,
Fires and whirlwinds, build it well.”

Laboured sternly flame and wind,
But a little, and they cry,
“Lord, we doubt of this Thy will,
We are blind and murmur why,”
And the winds are murmuring still.

Said the Lord God, “Build a house,
Cleave its treasure from the earth,
With the jarring powers of hell
Strive with formless might and mirth,
Tribes and war-men build it well.”

Then the raw red sons of men
Brake the soil, and lopped the wood,
But a little and they shrill,
“Lord, we cannot view Thy good,”
And the wild men clamour still.

Said the Lord God, “Build a house,
Smoke and iron, spark and steam,
Speak and vote and buy and sell;
Let a new world throb and stream,
Seers and makers, build it well.”

Strove the cunning men and strong,
But a little and they cry,
“Lord, mayhap we are but clay,
And we cannot know the why,”
And the wise men doubt to-day.

Yet though worn and deaf and blind,
Force and savage, king and seer
Labour still, they know not why;
At the dim foundation here,
Knead and plough and think and ply.

Till at last, mayhap, hereon,
Fused of passion and accord,
Love its crown and peace its stay
Rise the city of the Lord
That we darkly build to-day. (end)


Yes, today, we labor still until rises the city of the Lord. 



Image: St. Francis of Assisi (b. 1182- d. 1226), information