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The Alchemist in the City

Written by: Gerard Manley Hopkins | Biography
 | Quotes (8) |
 My window shews the travelling clouds, 
Leaves spent, new seasons, alter'd sky, 
The making and the melting crowds: 
The whole world passes; I stand by.
They do not waste their meted hours, But men and masters plan and build: I see the crowning of their towers, And happy promises fulfill'd.
And I - perhaps if my intent Could count on prediluvian age, The labours I should then have spent Might so attain their heritage, But now before the pot can glow With not to be discover'd gold, At length the bellows shall not blow, The furnace shall at last be cold.
Yet it is now too late to heal The incapable and cumbrous shame Which makes me when with men I deal More powerless than the blind or lame.
No, I should love the city less Even than this my thankless lore; But I desire the wilderness Or weeded landslips of the shore.
I walk my breezy belvedere To watch the low or levant sun, I see the city pigeons veer, I mark the tower swallows run Between the tower-top and the ground Below me in the bearing air; Then find in the horizon-round One spot and hunger to be there.
And then I hate the most that lore That holds no promise of success; Then sweetest seems the houseless shore, Then free and kind the wilderness, Or ancient mounds that cover bones, Or rocks where rockdoves do repair And trees of terebinth and stones And silence and a gulf of air.
There on a long and squared height After the sunset I would lie, And pierce the yellow waxen light With free long looking, ere I die.



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