Wednesday, November 30, 2005

By the Babe Unborn

by G.K. Chesterton

If trees were tall and grasses short,
As in some crazy tale,
If here and there a sea were blue
Beyond the breaking pale,

If a fixed fire hung in the air
To warm me one day through,
If deep green hair grew on great hills,
I know what I should do.

In dark I lie: dreaming that there
Are great eyes cold or kind,
And twisted streets and silent doors,
And living men behind.

Let storm-clouds come: better an hour,
And leave to weep and fight,
Than all the ages I have ruled
The empires of the night.

I think that if they gave me leave
Within the world to stand,
I would be good through all the day
I spent in fairyland.

They should not hear a word from me
Of selfishness or scorn,
If only I could find the door,
If only I were born.

* * *

This poem was brought into mind by the great debate on Fiddleback Fever about NFP. But it's just as pertinent to arguments about abortion and contraception.

I think a large part of why some people think abortion is okay is simply that they don't appreciate the gift of life they themselves have been given. They walk through their lives, glancing at trees and flowers and skies, and see none of them. They don't realise how great and beautiful it is to be alive.

But if, for a moment, impossibly, we could know what it was not to be alive, maybe we'd have the attitude of the child in this poem. How amazing it would be to be alive! And truly, how amazing it is.

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