Friday, October 21, 2011

"yield a song to the decaying year"

Now I am minded to take pipe in hand
And yield a song to the decaying year;
Now while the full-leaved hursts unalter’d stand,
And scarcely does appear
The Autumn yellow feather in the boughs
            While there is neither sun nor rain;
And a grey heaven does the hush’d earth house,
And bluer grey the flocks of trees look in the plain.

So late the hoar green chestnut breaks a bud,
And feeds new leaves upon the winds of Fall;
So late there is not force in sap or blood;
The fruit against the wall
Loose on the stem has done its summering;
These should have starv’d with the green broods of spring,
Or never been at all;
Too late or else much, much too soon,
Who first knew moonlight by the hunters’ moon.

Gerard Manley Hopkins*

Vines, Paul Ranson, 1902

*[105], The Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins, Oxford University Press, 4th ed. I should have posted this one about a month ago to suit the season here, but I thought it was too beautiful to leave until next year. By the way, a "hurst" is a thicket or bramble. I had to look it up.

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