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-d{'a}wn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
Of the r{'o}lling level {'u}ndern{'e}ath him steady {'a}ir, |&|
str{'i}ding
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 |&| gliding
Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird, -- the achieve of, the mastery of the thing!

Brute beauty |&| valour |&| 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 w{'o}nder of it: sh{'e}er pl{'o}d makes pl{'o}ugh down s{'i}llion
Shine, |&| blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
Fall, g{'a}ll thems{'e}lves, |&| g{'a}sh g{'o}ld-verm{'i}lion.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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  • 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

  • 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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