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HOPKINS, Gerard Manley


I wake and feel the fell of dark, not day.

I wake and feel the fell of dark, not day.

What hours, O what black hours we have spent

This night! what sights you, heart, saw; ways you went!

And more must, in yet longer light’s delay.


With witness I speak this. But where I say

Hours I mean years, mean life. And my lament

Is cries countless, cries like dead letters sent

To dearest him that lives alas! away.


I am gall, I am heartburn. God’s most deep decree

Bitter would have me taste: my taste was me;

Bones built in me, flesh filled, blood brimmed the curse.


Selfyeast of spirit a dull dough sours. I see

The lost are like this, and their scourge to be

As I am mine, their sweating selves; but worse.


God’s Grandeur

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.

It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;

It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil

Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?

Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;

And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;

And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil

Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

And for all this, nature is never spent;

There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;

And though the last lights off the black West went

Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs –

Because the Holy Ghost over the bent

World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.


The Wreck of the Deutschland
…..
Into the snows she sweeps,

Hurling the haven behind,

The Deutschland, on Sunday; and so the sky keeps,

For the infinite air is unkind,

And the sea flint-flake, black-backed in the regular blow,

Sitting Eastnortheast, in cursed quarter, the wind;

Wiry and white-fiery and whirlwind-swivellèd snow

Spins to the widow-making unchilding unfathering deeps.


She drove in the dark to leeward,

She struck—not a reef or a rock

But the combs of a smother of sand: night drew her

Dead to the Kentish Knock;

And she beat the bank down with her bows and the ride of her keel:

The breakers rolled on her beam with ruinous shock;

And canvass and compass, the whorl and the wheel

Idle for ever to waft her or wind her with, these she endured.


Hope had grown grey hairs,

Hope had mourning on,

Trenched with tears, carved with cares,

Hope was twelve hours gone;

And frightful a nightfall folded rueful a day

Nor rescue, only rocket and lightship, shone,

And lives at last were washing away:

To the shrouds they took,—they shook in the hurling and horrible airs.

…..


The Windhover


To Christ our Lord


I caught this morning morning’s minion, king-

dom of daylight’s dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding

Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding

High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing

In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,

As a skate’s heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding

Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding

Stirred for a bird,—the achieve of; the mastery of the thing!


Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here

Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion

Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!


No wonder of it: shéer plód makes plough down sillion

Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,

Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermillion.



Spring and Fall, to a young Child

Margaret, are you grieving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leaves, like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! as the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you will weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sorrow's springs are the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What héart héard of, ghóst guéssed:
It is the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.


Carrion comfort

NOT, I’ll not, carrion comfort, Despair, not feast on thee;

Not untwist—slack they may be—these last strands of man

In me ór, most weary, cry I can no more . I can;

Can something, hope, wish day come, not choose not to be.

But ah, but O thou terrible, why wouldst thou rude on me

Thy wring-world right foot rock? lay a lionlimb against me? scan

With darksome devouring eyes my bruisèd bones? and fan,

O in turns of tempest, me heaped there; me frantic to avoid thee and flee?

Why? That my chaff might fly; my grain lie, sheer and clear.

Nay in all that toil, that coil, since (seems) I kissed the rod,

Hand rather, my heart lo! lapped strength, stole joy, would laugh, chéer.

Cheer whom though? the hero whose heaven-handling flung me, fóot tród

Me? or me that fought him? O which one? is it each one? That night, that year

Of now done darkness I wretch lay wrestling with (my God!) my God.


Thou art indeed just, Lord, if I contend

Thou art indeed just, Lord, if I contend

With thee; but, sir, so what I plead is just.

Why do sinners’ ways prosper? and why must

Disappointment all I endeavour end?


Wert thou my enemy, O thou my friend,

How wouldst thou worse, I wonder, than thou dost

Defeat, thwart me? Oh, the sots and thralls of lust

Do in spare hours more thrive than I that spend,

Sir, life upon thy cause. See, banks and brakes

Now leavèd how thick! lacèd they are again

With fretty chervil, look, and fresh wind shakes

Them; birds build—but not I build; no, but strain,

Time’s eunuch, and not breed one work that wakes.

Mine, O thou lord of life, send my roots rain.



Pied Beauty


GLORY be to God for dappled things—

For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;

For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;

Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;

Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;

And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;

Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)

With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;

He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:

Praise him.


The Nightingale

‘From nine o'clock till morning light
The copse was never more than grey.
The darkness did not close that night
But day passed into day.
And soon I saw it shewing new
Beyond the hurst with such a hue
As silky garden-poppies do.

A crimson East, that bids for rain.
So from the dawn was ill begun
The day that brought my lasting pain
And put away my sun.
But watching while the colour grew
I only feared the wet for you
Bound for the Harbour and your crew.

I did not mean to sleep, but found
I had slept a little and was chill.
And I could hear the tiniest sound,
The morning was so still—
The bats' wings lisping as they flew
And water draining through and through

The wood: but not a dove would coo.

You know you said the nightingale
In all our western shires was rare,
That more he shuns our special dale
Or never lodges there:
And I had thought so hitherto—
Up till that morning's fall of dew,
And now I wish that it were true.

For he began at once and shook
My head to hear. He might have strung
A row of ripples in the brook,
So forcibly he sung,
The mist upon the leaves have strewed,
And danced the balls of dew that stood
In acres all above the wood.

I thought the air must cut and strain
The windpipe when he sucked his breath
And when he turned it back again
The music must be death.
With not a thing to make me fear,
A singing bird in morning clear
To me was terrible to hear.

Yet as he changed his mighty stops
Betweens I heard the water still
All down the stair-way of the copse
And churning in the mill.
But that sweet sound which I preferred,
Your passing steps, I never heard
For warbling of the warbling bird.’

Thus Frances sighed at home, while Luke
Made headway in the frothy deep.
She listened how the sea-gust shook
And then lay back to sleep.
While he was washing from on deck
She pillowing low her lily neck
Timed her sad visions with his wreck.