Than Courage of Heart or Holiness,
Yet in my Walks it seems to me
That the Grace of God is in Courtesy.
On Monks I did in Storrington fall,
They took me straight into their Hall;
I saw Three Pictures on a wall,
And Courtesy was in them all.
The first the Annunciation;
The second the Visitation;
The third the Consolation
Of God that was Our Lady's Son.
The first was of St. Gabriel;
On Wings a-flame from Heaven he fell;
And as he went upon one knee
He shone with Heavenly Courtesy.
Our Lady out of Nazareth rode —
It was Her month of heavy load;
Yet was her face both great and kind,
For Courtesy was in Her Mind.
The third it was our Little Lord,
Whom all the Kings in arms adored;
He was so small you could not see
His large intent of Courtesy.
Our Lord, that was Our Lady's Son,
Go bless you, People, one by one;
My Rhyme is written, my work is done.
Hilaire Belloc. "On Courtesy." from Complete Verse (London: Pimlico, 1994).
Note: The works of Hilaire Belloc are in the public domain
Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953) was an Anglo-French writer and historian who became a naturalised British subject in 1902. He was one of the most prolific writers in England during the early twentieth century. He was known as a writer, orator, poet, satirist, man of letters and political activist. He is most notable for his Catholic faith, which had a strong impact on most of his works and his writing collaboration with G. K. Chesterton. He was President of the Oxford Union and later MP for Salford from 1906 to 1910. He was a noted disputant, with a number of long-running feuds, but also widely regarded as a humane and sympathetic man. He is the author of many books including Cautionary Tales for Children, The Servile State, The Great Heresies, Europe and the Faith, High Lights of the French Revolution, The Bad Child's Book Of Beasts, The Path To Rome, and Marie Antoinette.
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