The Windhover

  • The Windhover

  • To Christ our Lord
  • I caught this morning morning’s minion, king-
  • dom of daylight’s dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
  • Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
  • High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
  • In his ecstacy! then off, off forth on swing,
  • As a skate’s heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding
  • Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
  • Stirred for a bird,—the achieve of, the mastery of the thing!
  • Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here
  • Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion
  • Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!
  • No wonder of it: shéer plód makes plough down sillion
  • Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
  • Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermillion.
photograph of red coals
“Fall, gall themselves,and gash gold-vermillion”
(see “The Windhover,” line 14)

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