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Gerard Manley Hopkins

(28 July 1844 – 8 June 1889 / Stratford, Essex)

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, 5
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 10
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.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002
Edited: Thursday, September 11, 2014

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  • Rookie Lawrence Boxall (2/6/2010 1:34:00 AM)

    This has been my favorite poem for over 30 years and this phrase:

    “in his riding / Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, ”

    gives me deep-seated physical and emotional pleasure every time I read it, without fail. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Andrew Hoellering (2/4/2010 4:34:00 PM)

    Another wonderful Hopkins poem that deserves to be read with pleasure, so why not:

    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, 5
    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 10
    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. (Report) Reply

Read all 2 comments »

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