God’s Grandeur

Although this poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins has found a rightful place in many an anthology and is therefore well-known, and the last thing I want to do is put together another Poetry Corner of favourite poems, I just had to post it here anyway, so that I could read it once again…. and again, and again.

                           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.

 Gerard Manley Hopkins, ‘God’s Grandeur’, 1877

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