(Poem #260) Moonrise
I awoke in the Midsummer not to call night, in the white and the walk of the morning: The moon, dwindled and thinned to the fringe of a finger-nail held to the candle, Or paring of paradisaical fruit, lovely in waning but lustreless, Stepped from the stool, drew back from the barrow, of dark Maenefa the mountain; A cusp still clasped him, a fluke yet fanged him, entangled him, not quite utterly. This was the prized, the desirable sight, unsought, presented so easily, Parted me leaf and leaf, divided me, eyelid and eyelid of slumber.
This is one of the many unpublished fragments left behind in Hopkins' notebooks , hence its rather disconnected nature. I'm running it for its rhythms - they're absolutely beautiful, especially the first two lines. I'm not quite sure if the verse itself has any meaning, though... thomas.  Fragment Poem #60, to be precise. [Minstrels Links] My favourite Hopkins poem is 'Inversnaid', which you can read at poem #3 - yes, poem #3, one of the very first poems to be run on this group - ancient history, so to speak. I wrote an essay about Hopkins' use of sound which I was quite pleased with; it forms part of the commentary which accompanies 'Pied Beauty', at poem #134 Another poem which sounds exquisite but doesn't mean a thing (and intentionally so) is Algernon Swinburne's wonderful 'Nephelidia', at poem #99 [About 'Maenefa'] Although it sounds like a fantasy world (Hi Martin!), Maenafa is a real place - a township in the Welsh parish of Tremeirchion in Flintshire. (The other townships in Tremeirchion are Bryngwyn Esgob, Llan, Graig and Bachegraig - as you've no doubt guessed, I include this piece of useless information merely for the sound of the Welsh words). "Tremeirchion is a considerable parish in the Vale of Clwyd, chiefly notable for the splendid Jesuit College (St. Bueno's) which it possesses. The college stands on an elevation, and a little distance from it on the top of a hill is a neat little chapel; a charming view of the country for many miles is obtainable here. Indeed the scenery to be looked upon is of a rich and varied description, and numbers avail themselves of the luxury during the summer months." -- from 'A Postal Directory of Flintshire', 1886. And it should come as no surprise that Hopkins studied theology at the abovementioned college and called himself by the Welsh pseudonym 'Bran Maenefa'. " ... the roots of Hopkins' Welsh pseudonym 'Bran Maenefa' lie in the Hopkins family's lifelong nicknaming habits, in frequent comparisons of black-gowned priests to crowish birds, and in the Crows' Nests, seats atop trees near Saint Bueno's College, where Hopkins studied in Wales." -- from 'Hopkins as the Crow of Maenefa' (Hopkins Quarterly vol. 23, nos. 3-4 [Summer/Fall 1996]: pp. 113-120), Norman White . It's amazing what you can find on the Web, isn't it?