(Poem #3) Inversnaid
This darksome burn, horseback brown, His rollrock highroad roaring down, In coop and in comb the fleece of his foam Flutes and low to the lake falls home. A windpuff-bonnet of fawn-froth Turns and twindles over the broth Of a pool so pitchblack, fell-frowning, It rounds and rounds Despair to drowning. Degged with dew, dappled with dew, Are the groins of the braes that the brook treads through, Wiry heathpacks, flitches of fern, And the beadbonny ash that sits over the burn. What would the world be, once bereft Of wet and wildness? Let them be left, O let them be left, wildness and wet; Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.
taken from the complete works, published posthumously in 1910 (edited by robert bridges). gerard manley hopkins was a jesuit priest and scholar, and his poetic themes centre around faith, doubt and reason. i like this particular poem, though, for its sheer lyrical beauty. hopkins' study of welsh led him to the creation of 'sprung rhythm' (where metre depends only on the stressed syllables and ignores the unstressed) and counterpoint. this (and his other structural innovations) placed him far ahead of his time; indeed, many consider hopkins to be the father of modern verse. you can read more about hopkins at http://www.mcs.drexel.edu/~gbrandal/Illum_html/Hopkins.html [broken link] http://www.stg.brown.edu/projects/hypertext/landow/victorian/hopkins/hopkins12.html thomas.