Works in the Herald 1936
And so this hearty jester ends his day
   And passes, with an ale-mug in his hand.
Leaving us better since he passed this way
   Who did so love his jest, his God, his land;
And, as the last quip on his still lip dies,
A chuckle echoes down the further skies.

His was a mind that saw things crystal clear,
   As one who looked down from a sunlit hill,
On all about; nor sophistry nor fear
   Could turn his searching eyes from good or ill;
Tho' wondered he a little now and then
That straight lines seemed so blurred to lesser men.

As broad of mind as body, his keen wit
   Held the rare quality of tears half-shed;
Came sorrow, and he made a jest of it;
   Came joy, and, lo, he stood it on its head
And feigned to weep while peeping slyly round
Upon the gaping crowd he would confound.

We watch him strolling thro' Elysian ways,
   Half smiling as he goes to know his fate:
A word for Gabriel of the clear, straight gaze,
   A jape for Peter smiling at the gate;
Then sudden, reverent knees pressed to the sod,
A jester unashamed before his God.

Herald, 16 June 1936, p6

Attached to a typed copy of this poem in the McLaren Collection in the Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne, is the following note from Alec H. Chisholm:
When word came through of the death of G.K. Chesterton, the "Herald" rang "Den." at Toolangi and asked if he would like to do something on G.K.C.
Within half an hour "Den." 'phoned back the above four verses.

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2002