I have seen this Chesterton poem several places on the World Wide InterWebs, but I don’t know the original bibliography. Anybody know where this poem came from? In any case, I love it. Its title, apparently, is “The House of Christmas.”
There fared a mother driven forth
Out of an inn to roam;
In the place where she was homeless
All men are at home.
The crazy stable close at hand,
With shaking timber and shifting sand,
Grew a stronger thing to abide and stand
Than the square stones of Rome.

For men are homesick in their homes,
And strangers under the sun,
And they lay on their heads in a foreign land
Whenever the day is done.
Here we have battle and blazing eyes,
And chance and honour and high surprise,
But our homes are under miraculous skies
Where the yule tale was begun.

A Child in a foul stable,
Where the beasts feed and foam;
Only where He was homeless
Are you and I at home;
We have hands that fashion and heads that know,
But our hearts we lost – how long ago!
In a place no chart nor ship can show
Under the sky’s dome.

This world is wild as an old wives’ tale,
And strange the plain things are,
The earth is enough and the air is enough
For our wonder and our war;
But our rest is as far as the fire-drake swings
And our peace is put in impossible things
Where clashed and thundered unthinkable wings
Round an incredible star.

To an open house in the evening
Home shall men come,
To an older place than Eden
And a taller town than Rome.
To the end of the way of the wandering star,
To the things that cannot be and that are,
To the place where God was homeless
And all men are at home.

  • Dan Kulp
    1:35 PM, 20 December 2010

    You are now my favorite blogger. I love GKC and this poem is terrific. I may have a bibliographical reference for you tomorrow when I’m at work with some of my better references.

  • Patrick
    2:17 AM, 21 December 2010

    Thanks for the poem, Johnathan. If anyone can find that reference for you I believe Dan can. I’ll be off-line for the next couple weeks. Have a Merry Christmas!

  • Dan Kulp
    1:21 PM, 21 December 2010

    It is called “The House of Christmas”.


  • S.D. Smith
    8:09 PM, 21 December 2010

    Man. Oh, man.

  • canaan Bound
    4:02 PM, 22 December 2010

    Wow. I simply love that last stanza. Thanks for posting, Jonathan!

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