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Best Famous Gerard Manley Hopkins Poems

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Written by Gerard Manley Hopkins | Create an image from this poem

Gods 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.
Written by Gerard Manley Hopkins | Create an image from this poem

Pied Beauty

Glory be to God for dappled things—
   For skies of couple-color 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.
Written by Gerard Manley Hopkins | Create an image from this poem

Repeat That Repeat

 Repeat that, repeat,
Cuckoo, bird, and open ear wells, heart-springs, delightfully sweet,
With a ballad, with a ballad, a rebound 
Off trundled timber and scoops of the hillside ground, hollow hollow hollow ground:
The whole landscape flushes on a sudden at a sound.
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Easter Communion

 Pure fasted faces draw unto this feast: 
God comes all sweetness to your Lenten lips.
You striped in secret with breath-taking whips, Those crooked rough-scored chequers may be pieced To crosses meant for Jesu's; you whom the East With draught of thin and pursuant cold so nips Breathe Easter now; you serged fellowships, You vigil-keepers with low flames decreased, God shall o'er-brim the measures you have spent With oil of gladness, for sackcloth and frieze And the ever-fretting shirt of punishment Give myrrhy-threaded golden folds of ease.
Your scarce-sheathed bones are weary of being bent: Lo, God shall strengthen all the feeble knees.
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My prayers must meet a brazen heaven

 My prayers must meet a brazen heaven
And fail and scatter all away.
Unclean and seeming unforgiven My prayers I scarcely call to pray.
I cannot buoy my heart above; Above I cannot entrance win.
I reckon precedents of love, But feel the long success of sin.
My heaven is brass and iron my earth: Yea, iron is mingled with my clay, So harden'd is it in this dearth Which praying fails to do away.
Nor tears, nor tears this clay uncouth Could mould, if any tears there were.
A warfare of my lips in truth, Battling with God, is now my prayer.
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The Shepherd's Brow Fronting Forked Lightning Owns

 The shepherd's brow, fronting forked lightning, owns 
The horror and the havoc and the glory 
Of it.
Angels fall, they are towers, from heaven—a story Of just, majestical, and giant groans.
But man—we, scaffold of score brittle bones; Who breathe, from groundlong babyhood to hoary Age gasp; whose breath is our memento mori— What bass is our viol for tragic tones? He! Hand to mouth he lives, and voids with shame; And, blazoned in however bold the name, Man Jack the man is, just; his mate a hussy.
And I that die these deaths, that feed this flame, That … in smooth spoons spy life’s masque mirrored: tame My tempests there, my fire and fever fussy.
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That Nature Is A Heraclitean Fire And Of The Comfort Of The Resurrection

 Cloud-puffball, torn tufts, tossed pillows ' flaunt forth, then chevy on an air-
built thoroughfare: heaven-roysterers, in gay-gangs ' they throng; they glitter in marches.
Down roughcast, down dazzling whitewash, ' wherever an elm arches, Shivelights and shadowtackle in long ' lashes lace, lance, and pair.
Delightfully the bright wind boisterous ' ropes, wrestles, beats earth bare Of yestertempest's creases; in pool and rut peel parches Squandering ooze to squeezed ' dough, crust, dust; stanches, starches Squadroned masks and manmarks ' treadmire toil there Footfretted in it.
Million-fuelèd, ' nature's bonfire burns on.
But quench her bonniest, dearest ' to her, her clearest-selvèd spark Man, how fast his firedint, ' his mark on mind, is gone! Both are in an unfathomable, all is in an enormous dark Drowned.
O pity and indig ' nation! Manshape, that shone Sheer off, disseveral, a star, ' death blots black out; nor mark Is any of him at all so stark But vastness blurs and time ' beats level.
Enough! the Resurrection, A heart's-clarion! Away grief's gasping, ' joyless days, dejection.
Across my foundering deck shone A beacon, an eternal beam.
' Flesh fade, and mortal trash Fall to the residuary worm; ' world's wildfire, leave but ash: In a flash, at a trumpet crash, I am all at once what Christ is, ' since he was what I am, and This Jack, joke, poor potsherd, ' patch, matchwood, immortal diamond, Is immortal diamond.
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Hurrahing In Harvest

 Summer ends now; now, barbarous in beauty, the stooks arise
 Around; up above, what wind-walks! what lovely behaviour
 Of silk-sack clouds! has wilder, wilful-wavier
Meal-drift moulded ever and melted across skies? 
I walk, I lift up, I lift up heart, eyes,
 Down all that glory in the heavens to glean our Saviour;
 And, éyes, heárt, what looks, what lips yet gave you a
Rapturous love's greeting of realer, of rounder replies? 

And the azurous hung hills are his world-wielding shoulder
 Majestic—as a stallion stalwart, very-violet-sweet!—
These things, these things were here and but the beholder
 Wanting; which two when they once meet,
The heart rears wings bold and bolder
 And hurls for him, O half hurls earth for him off under his feet.
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St. Winefreds Well

 ACT I.
SC.
I Enter Teryth from riding, Winefred following.
T.
WHAT is it, Gwen, my girl? why do you hover and haunt me? W.
You came by Caerwys, sir? T.
I came by Caerwys.
W.
There Some messenger there might have met you from my uncle.
T.
Your uncle met the messenger—met me; and this the message: Lord Beuno comes to-night.
W.
To-night, sir! T.
Soon, now: therefore Have all things ready in his room.
W.
There needs but little doing.
T.
Let what there needs be done.
Stay! with him one companion, His deacon, Dirvan Warm: twice over must the welcome be, But both will share one cell.
—This was good news, Gwenvrewi.
W.
Ah yes! T.
Why, get thee gone then; tell thy mother I want her.
Exit Winefred.
No man has such a daughter.
The fathers of the world Call no such maiden ‘mine’.
The deeper grows her dearness And more and more times laces round and round my heart, The more some monstrous hand gropes with clammy fingers there, Tampering with those sweet bines, draws them out, strains them, strains them; Meantime some tongue cries ‘What, Teryth! what, thou poor fond father! How when this bloom, this honeysuckle, that rides the air so rich about thee, Is all, all sheared away, thus!’ Then I sweat for fear.
Or else a funeral, and yet ’tis not a funeral, Some pageant which takes tears and I must foot with feeling that Alive or dead my girl is carried in it, endlessly Goes marching thro’ my mind.
What sense is this? It has none.
This is too much the father; nay the mother.
Fanciful! I here forbid my thoughts to fool themselves with fears.
Enter Gwenlo.
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ACT II.
—Scene, a wood ending in a steep bank over a dry dene, Winefred having been murdered within.
Re-enter Caradoc with a bloody sword.
C.
My heart, where have we been? What have we seen, my mind? What stroke has Caradoc’s right arm dealt? what done? Head of a rebel Struck off it has; written upon lovely limbs, In bloody letters, lessons of earnest, of revenge; Monuments of my earnest, records of my revenge, On one that went against me wh?reas I had warned her— Warned her! well she knew.
I warned her of this work.
What work? what harm ’s done? There is no harm done, none yet; Perhaps we struck no blow, Gwenvrewi lives perhaps; To makebelieve my mood was—mock.
O I might think so But here, here is a workman from his day’s task sweats.
Wiped I am sure this was; it seems not well; for still, Still the scarlet swings and dances on the blade.
So be it.
Thou steel, thou butcher, I c?n scour thee, fresh burnish thee, sheathe thee in thy dark lair; these drops Never, never, never in their blue banks again.
The woeful, Cradock, O the woeful word! Then what, What have we seen? Her head, sheared from her shoulders, fall, And lapped in shining hair, roll to the bank’s edge; then Down the beetling banks, like water in waterfalls, It stooped and flashed and fell and ran like water away.
Her eyes, oh and her eyes! In all her beauty, and sunlight to it is a pit, den, darkness, Foam-falling is not fresh to it, rainbow by it not beaming, In all her body, I say, no place was like her eyes, No piece matched those eyes kept most part much cast down But, being lifted, immortal, of immortal brightness.
Several times I saw them, thrice or four times turning; Round and round they came and flashed towards heaven: O there, There they did appeal.
Therefore airy vengeances Are afoot; heaven-vault fast purpling portends, and what first lightning Any instant falls means me.
And I do not repent; I do not and I will not repent, not repent.
The blame bear who aroused me.
What I have done violent I have like a lion done, lionlike done, Honouring an uncontrolled royal wrathful nature, Mantling passion in a grandeur, crimson grandeur.
Now be my pride then perfect, all one piece.
Henceforth In a wide world of defiance Caradoc lives alone, Loyal to his own soul, laying his own law down, no law nor Lord now curb him for ever.
O daring! O deep insight! What is virtue? Valour; only the heart valiant.
And right? Only resolution; will, his will unwavering Who, like me, knowing his nature to the heart home, nature’s business, Despatches with no flinching.
But will flesh, O can flesh Second this fiery strain? Not always; O no no! We cannot live this life out; sometimes we must weary And in this darksome world what comfort can I find? Down this darksome world c?mfort wh?re can I find When ’ts light I quenched; its rose, time’s one rich rose, my hand, By her bloom, fast by her fresh, her fleec?d bloom, Hideous dashed down, leaving earth a winter withering With no now, no Gwenvrewi.
I must miss her most That might have spared her were it but for passion-sake.
Yes, To hunger and not have, y?t hope ?n for, to storm and strive and Be at every assault fresh foiled, worse flung, deeper disappointed, The turmoil and the torment, it has, I swear, a sweetness, Keeps a kind of joy in it, a zest, an edge, an ecstasy, Next after sweet success.
I am not left even this; I all my being have hacked in half with her neck: one part, Reason, selfdisposal, choice of better or worse way, Is corpse now, cannot change; my other self, this soul, Life’s quick, this k?nd, this k?en self-feeling, With dreadful distillation of thoughts sour as blood, Must all day long taste murder.
What do n?w then? Do? Nay, Deed-bound I am; one deed treads all down here cramps all doing.
What do? Not yield, Not hope, not pray; despair; ay, that: brazen despair out, Brave all, and take what comes—as here this rabble is come, Whose bloods I reck no more of, no more rank with hers Than sewers with sacred oils.
Mankind, that mobs, comes.
Come! Enter a crowd, among them Teryth, Gwenlo, Beuno.
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After Winefred’s raising from the dead and the breaking out of the fountain.
BEUNO.
O now while skies are blue, now while seas are salt, While rushy rains shall fall or brooks shall fleet from fountains, While sick men shall cast sighs, of sweet health all despairing, While blind men’s eyes shall thirst after daylight, draughts of daylight, Or deaf ears shall desire that lipmusic that ’s lost upon them, While cripples are, while lepers, dancers in dismal limb-dance, Fallers in dreadful frothpits, waterfearers wild, Stone, palsy, cancer, cough, lung wasting, womb not bearing, Rupture, running sores, what more? in brief; in burden, As long as men are mortal and God merciful, So long to this sweet spot, this leafy lean-over, This Dry Dene, now no longer dry nor dumb, but moist and musical With the uproll and the downcarol of day and night delivering Water, which keeps thy name, (for not in r?ck wr?tten, But in pale water, frail water, wild rash and reeling water, That will not wear a print, that will not stain a pen, Thy venerable record, virgin, is recorded).
Here to this holy well shall pilgrimages be, And not from purple Wales only nor from elmy England, But from beyond seas, Erin, France and Flanders, everywhere, Pilgrims, still pilgrims, m?re p?lgrims, still more poor pilgrims.
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What sights shall be when some that swung, wretches, on crutches Their crutches shall cast from them, on heels of air departing, Or they go rich as roseleaves hence that loathsome c?me hither! Not now to n?me even Those dearer, more divine boons whose haven the heart is.
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As sure as what is most sure, sure as that spring primroses Shall new-dapple next year, sure as to-morrow morning, Amongst come-back-again things, th?ngs with a revival, things with a recovery, Thy name… .
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Written by Gerard Manley Hopkins | Create an image from this poem

The Habit Of Perfection

 Elected Silence, sing to me
And beat upon my whorlèd ear,
Pipe me to pastures still and be
The music that I care to hear.
Shape nothing, lips; be lovely-dumb: It is the shut, the curfew sent From there where all surrenders come Which only makes you eloquent.
Be shellèd, eyes, with double dark And find the uncreated light: This ruck and reel which you remark Coils, keeps, and teases simple sight.
Palate, the hutch of tasty lust, Desire not to be rinsed with wine: The can must be so sweet, the crust So fresh that come in fasts divine! Nostrils, your careless breath that spend Upon the stir and keep of pride, What relish shall the censers send Along the sanctuary side! O feel-of-primrose hands, O feet That want the yield of plushy sward, But you shall walk the golden street And you unhouse and house the Lord.
And, Poverty, be thou the bride And now the marriage feast begun, And lily-coloured clothes provide Your spouse not laboured-at nor spun.
Written by Gerard Manley Hopkins | Create an image from this poem

May Magnificat

 May is Mary's month, and I 
Muse at that and wonder why: 
Her feasts follow reason, 
Dated due to season—

Candlemas, Lady Day; 
But the Lady Month, May, 
Why fasten that upon her, 
With a feasting in her honour?

Is it only its being brighter 
Than the most are must delight her? 
Is it opportunest 
And flowers finds soonest?

Ask of her, the mighty mother: 
Her reply puts this other 
Question: What is Spring?— 
Growth in every thing—

Flesh and fleece, fur and feather, 
Grass and greenworld all together; 
Star-eyed strawberry-breasted 
Throstle above her nested

Cluster of bugle blue eggs thin 
Forms and warms the life within; 
And bird and blossom swell 
In sod or sheath or shell.
All things rising, all things sizing Mary sees, sympathising With that world of good, Nature's motherhood.
Their magnifying of each its kind With delight calls to mind How she did in her stored Magnify the Lord.
Well but there was more than this: Spring's universal bliss Much, had much to say To offering Mary May.
When drop-of-blood-and-foam-dapple Bloom lights the orchard-apple And thicket and thorp are merry With silver-surfed cherry And azuring-over greybell makes Wood banks and brakes wash wet like lakes And magic cuckoocall Caps, clears, and clinches all— This ecstasy all through mothering earth Tells Mary her mirth till Christ's birth To remember and exultation In God who was her salvation.
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At The Wedding March

 God with honour hang your head,
Groom, and grace you, bride, your bed
With lissome scions, sweet scions,
Out of hallowed bodies bred.
Each be other's comfort kind: Déep, déeper than divined, Divine charity, dear charity, Fast you ever, fast bind.
Then let the March tread our ears: I to him turn with tears Who to wedlock, his wonder wedlock, Déals tríumph and immortal years.
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The Alchemist in the City

 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.
Written by Gerard Manley Hopkins | Create an image from this poem

Let me be to Thee as the circling bird

 Let me be to Thee as the circling bird, 
Or bat with tender and air-crisping wings
That shapes in half-light his departing rings, 
From both of whom a changeless note is heard.
I have found my music in a common word, Trying each pleasurable throat that sings And every praised sequence of sweet strings, And know infallibly which I preferred.
The authentic cadence was discovered late Which ends those only strains that I approve, And other science all gone out of date And minor sweetness scarce made mention of: I have found the dominant of my range and state - Love, O my God, to call Thee Love and Love.
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Brothers

 How lovely the elder brother's
Life all laced in the other's,
Lóve-laced!—what once I well
Witnessed; so fortune fell.
When Shrovetide, two years gone, Our boys' plays brought on Part was picked for John, Young Jóhn: then fear, then joy Ran revel in the elder boy.
Their night was come now; all Our company thronged the hall; Henry, by the wall, Beckoned me beside him: I came where called, and eyed him By meanwhiles; making my play Turn most on tender byplay.
For, wrung all on love's rack, My lad, and lost in Jack, Smiled, blushed, and bit his lip; Or drove, with a diver's dip, Clutched hands down through clasped knees— Truth's tokens tricks like these, Old telltales, with what stress He hung on the imp's success.
Now the other was bráss-bóld: Hé had no work to hold His heart up at the strain; Nay, roguish ran the vein.
Two tedious acts were past; Jack's call and cue at last; When Henry, heart-forsook, Dropped eyes and dared not look.
Eh, how áll rúng! Young dog, he did give tongue! But Harry—in his hands he has flung His tear-tricked cheeks of flame For fond love and for shame.
Ah Nature, framed in fault, There 's comfort then, there 's salt; Nature, bad, base, and blind, Dearly thou canst be kind; There dearly thén, deárly, I'll cry thou canst be kind.