Hilaire Belloc was one of the major writers of the 20th century.
Born in the outskirts of Paris, he moved to England at the age of two where he attended school and eventually became a naturalised British citizen.
After a brief political career which left him uninspired he took to writing, working as a journalist for various titles and becoming editor for political weekly The Eye Witness.
A staunch supporter of the First World War, he was recruited to work for the War Propaganda Bureau where his anti-German views were popular.
However, he is arguably best known today for his poetry. His humorous poems about Matilda, who lied repeatedly and was burned to death; Jim, who was eaten by a lion after running away from his nurse; and Lord Lundy, whose inability to stop crying ended his political career, make the poet live up to his name. Hilare-ious.
We’ve chosen an arguably lesser known work from a selection of monthly sonnets. It’s called February. Enjoy.
The winter moon has such a quiet car
That all the winter nights are dumb with rest.
She drives the gradual dark with drooping crest,
And dreams go wandering from her drowsy star.
Because the nights are silent, do not wake:
But there shall tremble through the general earth,
And over you, a quickening and a birth.
The sun is near the hill-tops for your sake.
The latest born of all the days shall creep
To kiss the tender eyelids of the year;
And you shall wake, grown young with perfect sleep,
And smile at the new world, and make it dear
With living murmurs more than dreams are deep.
Silence is dead, my Dawn; the morning's here.
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