When fishes flew and forests walkedAnd figs grew upon thorn,Some moment when the moon was bloodThen surely I was born.*With monstrous head and sickening cryAnd ears like errant wings,The devil’s walking parodyOn all four-footed things.*The tattered outlaw of the earth,Of ancient crooked will;Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,I keep my secret still.*Fools! For I also had my hour;One far fierce hour and sweet:There was a shout about my ears,And palms before my feet.
By the genius that is G. K. Chesterton, from The Collected Poems of G. K. Chesterton, 1927
I have never loved a donkey so much as I do reading this quite magnificent GKC poem. However, ‘A thousand tongues to sing our Great Redeemer’s Praise’ is pure poultry. Go large on the praise Church! A thousand tongues should be reserved for the great saints of the Church, of which GKC qualifies in spades. But Christ, upon which the Beast of Burden he sat, is not a numerical standard, whether metaphor or not! No. Christ is the Eternal one that no numerical limit of greatness can define, subdue, limit or exalt.
He is Jesus Christ the Messiah, and his salvation is so wide and vast and, biblical truth be told, all consuming: it gives a baby donkey it’s moment of glory.
And if Jesus can do that for a donkey, what do you suppose he can and has done for you?