Gerard Manley Hopkins

Here you will find the Long Poem Epithalamion of poet Gerard Manley Hopkins


Hark, hearer, hear what I do; lend a thought now, make believe 
We are leafwhelmed somewhere with the hood 
Of some branchy bunchy bushybowered wood, 
Southern dene or Lancashire clough or Devon cleave, 
That leans along the loins of hills, where a candycoloured, where a gluegold-brown
Marbled river, boisterously beautiful, between 
Roots and rocks is danced and dandled, all in froth and waterblowballs, down. 
We are there, when we hear a shout 
That the hanging honeysuck, the dogeared hazels in the cover 
Makes dither, makes hover
And the riot of a rout 
Of, it must be, boys from the town 
Bathing: it is summer?s sovereign good. 

By there comes a listless stranger: beckoned by the noise 
He drops towards the river: unseen
Sees the bevy of them, how the boys 
With dare and with downdolphinry and bellbright bodies huddling out, 
Are earthworld, airworld, waterworld thorough hurled, all by turn and turn about. 

This garland of their gambols flashes in his breast 
Into such a sudden zest
Of summertime joys 
That he hies to a pool neighbouring; sees it is the best 
There; sweetest, freshest, shadowiest; 
Fairyland; silk-beech, scrolled ash, packed sycamore, wild wychelm, hornbeam fretty overstood 
By. Rafts and rafts of flake-leaves light, dealt so, painted on the air,
Hang as still as hawk or hawkmoth, as the stars or as the angels there, 
Like the thing that never knew the earth, never off roots 
Rose. Here he feasts: lovely all is! No more: off with?down he dings 
His bleachèd both and woolwoven wear: 
Careless these in coloured wisp
All lie tumbled-to; then with loop-locks 
Forward falling, forehead frowning, lips crisp 
Over finger-teasing task, his twiny boots 
Fast he opens, last he offwrings 
Till walk the world he can with bare his feet
And come where lies a coffer, burly all of blocks 
Built of chancequarrièd, selfquainèd rocks 
And the water warbles over into, filleted with glassy grassy quicksilvery shivès and shoots
And with heavenfallen freshness down from moorland still brims, 
Dark or daylight on and on. Here he will then, here he will the fleet
Flinty kindcold element let break across his limbs 
Long. Where we leave him, froliclavish while he looks about him, laughs, swims. 
Enough now; since the sacred matter that I mean 
I should be wronging longer leaving it to float 
Upon this only gambolling and echoing-of-earth note?
What is ? the delightful dene? 
Wedlock. What the water? Spousal love.
. . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . 
Father, mother, brothers, sisters, friends 
Into fairy trees, wild flowers, wood ferns 
Rankèd round the bower
. . . . . . . .