when fishes flew and forests walked And figs grew upon thorn, Some moment when the moon was bloodThen surely I was born
None of that is possible. The donkey is telling how strange and upside-down the time of his birth was.
With monstrous head and sickening cryAnd ears like errant wings,the devil’s walking parody of all four footed things.
He talks about his ruined appearance and bray.
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He’s like the devil’s attempt at making an animal (a horse) and failing miserably.
The tattered outlaw of the earth, Of ancient crooked will;Starve, scourge, deride me; I am dumb,I keep my secret still.
The donkey speaks of it’s nature, stubborn and lowly. It’s not respected like any other animal, and it does not give in easily.
Fools! For I also had my hour; One far fierce hour and sweet:There was a shout about my ears,And palms before my feet,
Even the donkey had a moment of glory when he carried Jesus into Jerusalem. Even though the shouts and palms were not for him, the donkey was the one chosen by Jesus.
This passage tells of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, riding on a donkey. The Lord of all rose on the humblest beast. (He fulfilled prophecy of Zech. 9:9)
Why did Chesterton include the biblical allusion in this poem? What was his purpose?
The biblical allusion to the donkey gives encouragement to Christians.
If Christ can use a donkey, he can certainty use us.