“Stilton and Milton (or Literature in the 17th. and 20th. Centuries)” – G.K. Chesterton, from “The Coloured Lands.”

“John Milton, made of Stilton” (2016), by Christian Kjelstrup, The Guardian.

It’s getting close to the time of year when we eat too much rich food and, like Luther, are subjected to gout-dreams in our wintry captivity. Thus our thoughts turn, with Chesterton, to Milton.


Pardon, dear Lady, if this Christmas time,
The Convalescent Bard in halting rhyme
Thanks you for that great thought that still entwines
The Wicked Grocer with more wicked lines;
These straggling Crayon lines–who cares for these,
Who knows the difference between Chalk and Cheese?

Not wholly sound the saw, accounted sure,
That weak things perish and strong things endure:
Milton, six volumes on my groaning shelves,
May groan till Judgment Day and please themselves
As, harsh with leaden type and leathery pride,
Puritan Bards must groan at Christmas tide:

My table groans with Stilton–for a while:
Paradise Found not Lost, in Milton’s style
Green as his Eden; as his Michael Strong:
But O, my friend, it will not groan there long.