Hopkins Rain

The welcome rain this morning brought to mind this venerable Gerard Manley Hopkins sonnet on Jeremiah 12:

Thou art indeed just, Lord, if I contend
With thee; but, sir, so what I plead is just.
Why do sinners’ ways prosper? and why must
Disappointment all I endeavour end?
Wert thou my enemy, O thou my friend,
How wouldst thou worse, I wonder, than thou dost
Defeat, thwart me? Oh, the sots and thralls of lust
Do in spare hours more thrive than I that spend,
Sir, life upon thy cause. See, banks and brakes
Now leavèd how thick! lacèd they are again
With fretty chervil, look, and fresh wind shakes
Them; birds build—but not I build; no, but strain,
Time’s eunuch, and not breed one work that wakes.
Mine, O thou lord of life, send my roots rain.

And, speaking of us eunuchs of time, Hopkins can out-do Hamlet when it comes to identifying the quintessences of dust:

Man–we, scaffold of score brittle bones, whose breath is our memento mori.

Death awaits us all, dear friends. Have a great week!

Hopkins Kind of Afternoon

If you are with me, you know that this is the time for a Gerard Manley Hopkins poem:

Morning, Midday, and Evening Sacrifice
The dappled die-away
Cheek and wimpled lip,
The gold-wisp, the airy-grey
Eye, all in fellowship—
This, all this beauty blooming,
This, all this freshness fuming,
Give God while worth consuming.

Both thought and thew now bolder
And told by Nature: Tower;
Head, heart, hand, heel, and shoulder
That beat and breathe in power—
This pride of prime’s enjoyment
Take as for tool, not toy meant
And hold at Christ’s employment.

The vault and scope and schooling
And mastery in the mind,
In silk-ash kept from cooling,
And ripest under rind—
What death half lifts the latch of,
What hell stalks towards the snatch of,
Your offering, with despatch, of!