Union Jack

     English Wordplay ~ Listen and Enjoy

Hopkins loved Our Lady. I therefore dedicate these pages to her namesake, my beloved daughter, Mary. Hopkins aged 15 Hopkins as a Jesuit Priest

GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS

His Life through his Poetry







Previous Track: The Wreck of the Deutschland

TRACK 3: His Joyous Poetry 1

Read by Claire Marchionne
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while you read

In 1877, the year of his ordination, Hopkins produced some of his most joyous sonnets, on what he called the 'instress' of God in nature.

The Starlight Night

LOOK at the stars! look, look up at the skies!
   O look at all the fire-folk sitting in the air!
   The bright boroughs, the circle-citadels there!
Down in dim woods the diamond delves! the elves'-eyes!
The grey lawns cold where gold, where quickgold lies!
   Wind-beat whitebeam! airy abeles set on a flare!
   Flake-doves sent floating forth at a farmyard scare!--
Ah well! it is all a purchase, all is a prize.

Buy then! bid then!--What?--Prayer, patience, alms,
     vows.
Look, look: a May-mess, like on orchard boughs!
   Look! March-bloom, like on mealed-with-yellow
     sallows!
These are indeed the barn; withindoors house
The shocks. This piece-bright paling shuts the spouse
   Christ home, Christ and his mother and all his hallows.

	 
	 
Hurrahing in Harvest

SUMMER ends now; now, barbarous in beauty, the
     stooks rise
   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.

The next track: Spring, The Windhover


Introduction to this Hopkins Feature

Gerard Manley Hopkins Workshop

Home Page

We recommend the Oxford Edition and in particular Sean Street's account of The Wreck of the Deutschland, which he was inspired to write from hearing my production of Paul Scofield's reading for BBC Radio 3.  We also highly recommend Gerard Manley Hopkins: A Study of Poetic Idiosyncrasy in Relation to Poetic Tradition by Professor Helen Gardner: