Gerard Manley Hopkins on beauty and peace
Gerard Manley Hopkins stopped publishing his poetry when he entered the priesthood. But in 1918, almost 30 years after his death, his friend Robert Bridges, who was later poet laureate, brought out a book of Hopkins's poems. Bridges warned readers they might find the work ``difficult.'' But Hopkins came to be regarded as one of Britain's great poets. His verse sounds syncopated. This apparently modern effect (especially for a writer in the Victorian era) may in fact have come from his familiarity with Latin verse. Such modern poets as Dylan Thomas, T. S. Eliot, and W. H. Auden were influenced by his work. Pied Beauty Glory be to God for dappled things -- For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow; For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim; Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings; Landscape plotted and pierced -- fold, fallow, and plough; And 'all tr'ades, 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. Peace When will you ever, Peace, wild wooddove, shy wings shut, Your round me roaming end, and under be my boughs? When, when, Peace, will you, Peace? -- I'll not play hypocrite To own my heart: I yield you do come sometimes; but That piecemeal peace is poor peace. What pure peace allows Alarms of wars, the daunting wars, the death of it? O surely, reaving Peace, my Lord should leave in lieu Some good! And so he does leave Patience exquisite, That plumes to Peace thereafter. And when Peace here does house He comes with work to do, he does not come to coo, He comes to brood and sit.