Tag Archives: Leonardo da Vinci

The Sword of Surprise

Anatomical Studies of the Shoulder. Leonard da Vinci. 1510.


The Sword of Surprise

G. K. Chesterton


Sunder me from my bones, O sword of God

Till they stand stark and strange as do the trees;

That I whose heart goes up with the soaring woods

May marvel as much at these.


Sunder me from my blood that in the dark

I hear that red ancestral river run

Like branching buried floods that find the sea

But never see the sun.


Give me miraculous eyes to see my eyes

Those rolling mirrors made alive in me,

Terrible crystals more incredible

Than all the things they see.


Sunder me from my soul, that I may see

The sins like streaming wounds, the life’s brave beat

Till I shall save myself as I would save

A stranger in the street.


“Men go abroad to wonder at the height of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars; and they pass by themselves without wondering.” —Saint Augustine of Hippo

“I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” Psalm 139:14

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intent of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” Hebrews 4:12-13

A Little Poetry—The English writer Gilbert Keith Chesterton did much to reveal the delightful strangeness of things we find too ordinary. “We are perishing for want of wonder,” he wrote, “not for wonders.”