Gold Leaves – G. K. Chesterton – Analysis

Gold Leaves

Lo! I am come to autumn,
When all the leaves are gold;
Grey hairs and golden leaves cry out
The year and I are old.

In youth I sought the prince of men,
Captain in cosmic wars,
Our Titan, even the weeds would show
Defiant, to the stars.

But now a great thing in the street
Seems any human nod,
Where shift in strange democracy
The million masks of God.

In youth I sought the golden flower
Hidden in wood or wold,
But I am come to autumn,
When all the leaves are gold.

G. K. Chesterton.

Nice iambic rhythm to the syllables with end rhyme in the shorter second and fourth lines.
Syllables in the first stanza …
^ ^ ^ ^ ^ / ^^
^ ^ ^ ^ ^ / ^
^ ^ ^ ^^ / ^ ^ ^
^ ^ ^ ^ ^ / ^
S1 – the gold leaves of autumn equated to the silver hair of the aging … the aging year equated to the aging person
S2 – when young seeking to be a leader and associating with the strong and defiant even when in error (when the weeds were showing) … Titan strong and large force
S3 – but with age God is now found in any human nod and in the common place – in the street … I like the thought in the statement ‘the democracy of God’ … evident in all humanity
S4 – in youth there was a search in a hidden world – a search for meaning … finding gold or is that God – but in old age gold or God can be seen everywhere – it seems that there is a sense of contentment – the search and battle over – less energy and not so idealistic perhaps … more time to value all the gold in abundance that surrounds the beauty of life.

A link to G. K. Chesterton on Wikipedia.

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