The Ballad of the White Horse (Version 2)

Read by Gayle Cato

(4.6 stars; 12 reviews)

The Ballad of the White Horse is a poem by G K Chesterton about the idealized exploits of the Saxon King Alfred the Great, published in 1911. Written in ballad form, the work is usually considered an epic poem. The poem narrates how Alfred was able to defeat the invading Danes at the Battle of Ethandun under the auspices of God working through the agency of the Virgin Mary. In addition to being a narration of Alfred's militaristic and political accomplishments, it is also considered a Catholic allegory. Chesterton incorporates a significant amount of philosophy into the basic structure of the story. (Introduction by Wikipedia) (1 hr 52 min)


Prefatory Note & Dedication 7:37 Read by Gayle Cato
Book I - The Vision of the King 11:20 Read by Gayle Cato
Book II - The Gathering of the Chiefs 11:24 Read by Gayle Cato
Book III - The Harp of Alfred 16:11 Read by Gayle Cato
Book IV - The Woman in the Forest 12:34 Read by Gayle Cato
Book V - Ethandune: The First Stroke 11:55 Read by Gayle Cato
Book VI - Ethandune: The Slaying of the Chiefs 11:55 Read by Gayle Cato
Book VII - Ethandune: The Last Charge 15:00 Read by Gayle Cato
Book VIII - The Scouring of the Horse 14:34 Read by Gayle Cato


"...And all their songs are sad"

(3 stars)

I'll admit, as a 2nd gen Irish-American, I played this poem to hear Chesterton's take on my people -- and I wasn't disappointed. "And the Gaels of Ireland Are the men who God made mad For all [our] wars are merry And all [our] songs are sad" Not contending how general he is, I like this view. Unfortunately, the white supremacy of the rest of the work reeks like a hog's den. I can only imagine how the American Klan exploited this myth-legend when they were in their murderous psychoses. So I give three stars.

History in Rhyme

(5 stars)

There is more to this than History. Chesterton has been prophetic with his usual spiritual insightfulness.

Fairly Interesting

(5 stars)

Good example of alliterative poetry. Lyrical.