The World State

Oh, how I love Humanity,
With love so pure and pringlish,
And how I hate the horrid French,
Who never will be English!

The International Idea,
The largest and the clearest,
Is welding all the nations now,
Except the one that’s nearest.

This compromise has long been known,
This scheme of partial pardons,
In ethical societies
And small suburban gardens —

The villas and the chapels where
I learned with little labour
The way to love my fellow-man
And hate my next-door neighbour.

— (1925).

Published in: on April 18, 2012 at 9:26 pm  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Pringlish… Google says Chesterton invented this word, so what’s your take on what it means?

  2. An excellent question that deserved a more timely response than I have given it! Apologies.

    Well, I have no idea. I would hazard that a cross between ‘proper’ (in the sense of ‘respectable’) and ‘sentimental’ would not be too far from the mark. Maybe even ‘politically correct’ is a possibility. (If so, ‘pringlish’ is a far better word for it.)

  3. That is indeed the impression I got. Maybe ‘admirable’, but then, with Chesterton, who knows?

  4. […] less I love man in particular.” They exhibit that same glow of universal brotherhood expressed in G.K Chesterton’s quatrain from his poem The World […]

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