by Gideon Burton
after Gerard Manley Hopkins' "God's Grandeur"
I have been witness, watched his flowing robe
shake loose the western amber sky, condense
to moonlit dewdrop silence second sense,
the potent graces faced with open code:
the land in spans of grandeur, prairies sewn
in fertile fabric, folded gold. Why fence
against this surge of surplus awe? Dispense
with lesser rhythms, prices paid or owed,
attenuations worked by thinning toil.
Dig down, unbare the freshest deepest core,
unhide unspoken remnant promised peace,
the lease of dove's down skin stroked morning oil,
oh, holy ghosting flow of something more,
the springs uprushing, wings of dawn release.
Photo: flickr - Roger Smith
Gerard Manley Hopkins
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.