The Unpardonable Sin

by G.K. Chesterton

I do not cry, beloved, neither curse.
    Silence and strength, these two at least are good.
    He gave me sun and stars and aught He could,
But not a woman's love; for that is hers.

He sealed her heart from sage and questioner --
    Yea, with seven seals, as he has sealed the grave.
    And if she give it to a drunken slave,
The Day of Judgment shall not challenge her.

Only this much: if one, deserving well,
    Touching your thin young hands and making suit,
    Feel not himself a crawling thing, a brute,
Buried and bricked in a forgotten hell;

Prophet and poet be he over sod,
    Prince among angels in the highest place,
    God help me, I will smite him on the face,
Before the glory of the face of God.

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Last modified: 12th March, 1999
Martin Ward, De Montfort University, Leicester.