In the The Spectator “Low Life” column this week Jeremy Clarke described what Kingsley Amis (apparently a connoisseur of the phenomenon) called a “metaphysical hangover”. Apart from the usual feeling of being unwell there is a compound of depression, sadness (not the same thing), anxiety, self-hatred, sense of failure and fear of the future. The Amis remedy was the final scene of Paradise Lost or battle poems such as Lepanto by Chesterton.
Lepanto is a poem by G.K. Chesterton celebrating the victory of the Holy League in the Battle of Lepanto written in irregular stanzas of rhyming, roughly paeonic tetrameter couplets, often ending in a quatrain of four dimeter lines. The poem tells of the defeat of the Ottoman fleet of Ali Pasha by the Christian crusader, Don John of Austria. The poem was written in 1911 and its stirring verses helped inspire soldiers such as John Buchan during World War I.