#poemoftheday Binsey Poplars (Felled 1879) by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Binsey Poplars (Felled 1879) by Gerard Manley Hopkins

 

My aspens dear, whose airy cages quelled,

Quelled or quenched in leaves the leaping sun,

All felled, felled, are all felled;

Of a fresh and following folded rank

Not spared, not one

That dandled a sandalled

Shadow that swam or sank

On meadow and river and wind-wandering

weed-winding bank.

 

O if we but knew what we do

When we delve or hew -

Hack and rack the growing green!

Since country is so tender

To touch, her being so slender,

That, like this sleek and seeing ball

But a prick will make no eye at all,

 

Where we, even where we mean

To mend her we end her,

When we hew or delve:

After-comers cannot guess the beauty been.

Ten or twelve, only ten or twelve

Strokes of havoc unselve

The sweet especial scene,

Rural scene, a rural scene,

Sweet especial rural scene.