Below you will find 37 of Hopkins’s most well-known poems. The text for each is taken from the first edition of his poetry, edited by Robert Bridges and available on Project Gutenberg. Readers should note that in most cases the titles were provided by the poet, but in a few cases he did not assign titles and so by convention they are represented by the first line of the poem and identified by quotation marks.The edition used here works well for most general purposes. Scholars and those who must provide the latest and most accurate versions should use The Poetical Works of Gerard Manley Hopkins (ed. Norman H. MacKenzie. Oxford: Clarendon P, 1990) until such time as the eighth and final volume of Hopkins’s Collected Works appears—this volume, edited by Catherine Phillips, will appear in the near future.Users should note  that each poem entry includes links to a “study guide,” which offers some brief comments or questions designed to help with understanding the poem, and also to “print this poem,” which allows you to do exactly that.  In many cases you will also find one or more photographs associated with the poem, and also a link for “Hear the poem,” which will take you to a rendition of the poem by readers as diverse as the actor Richard Burton and the king of England, Charles III.  That same link may also include a way to hear the poem through music, i.e. through solo or choral renditions of it or through original musical compositions based on it.

Navigation — Alphabetical by Title

“As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame”

    As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies dráw fláme;

    As tumbled over rim in roundy wells

    Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell’s

    Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;

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Binsey Poplars

    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

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Carrion Comfort

    Not, I’ll not, carrion comfort, Despair, not feast on thee;

    Not untwist—slack they may be—these last strands of man

    In me ór, most weary, cry I can no more. I can;

    Can something, hope, wish day come, not choose not to be.

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Duns Scotus’s Oxford

    Towery city and branchy between towers;

    Cuckoo-echoing, bell-swarmèd, lark charmèd, rook-racked, river-rounded;

    The dapple-eared lily below thee; that country and town did

    Once encounter in, here coped and poisèd powers;

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Felix Randal

    Felix Randal the farrier, O is he dead then? my duty all ended,

    Who have watched his mould of man, big-boned and hardy-handsome

    Pining, pining, till time when reason rambled in it, and some

    Fatal four disorders, fleshed there, all contended?

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God’s Grandeur

    The world is charged with the grandeur of God.

    It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;

    It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil

    Crushed.   Why do men then now not reck his rod?

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Harry Ploughman

    Hard as hurdle arms, with a broth of goldish flue

    Breathed round; the rack of ribs; the scooped flank; lank

    Rope-over thigh; knee-nave; and barrelled shank–

    Head and foot, shoulder and shank–

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    I have desired to go

    Where springs not fail,

    To fields where flies no sharp and sided hail

    And a few lilies blow.

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Henry Purcell

    Have fair fallen, O fair, fair have fallen, so dear

    To me, so arch-especial a spirit as heaves in Henry Purcell,

    An age is now since passed, since parted; with the reversal

    Of the outward sentence low lays him, listed to a heresy, here.

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Hurrahing in Harvest

    Summer ends now; now, barbarous in beauty, the stooks arise

    Around; up above, what wind-walks! what lovely behaviour

    Of silk-sack clouds! has wilder, wilful-wavier

    Meal-drift moulded ever and melted across skies?

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In Honour of St. Alphonsus Rodriguez

    Honour is flashed off exploit, so we say;

    And those strokes once that gashed flesh or galled shield

    Should tongue that time now, trumpet now that field,

    And, on the fighter, forge his glorious day.

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“I wake and feel the fell of dark, not day.”

    I wake and feel the fell of dark, not day.

    What hours, O what black hoürs we have spent

    This night! what sights you, heart, saw; ways you went!

    And more must, in yet longer light’s delay.

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    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.

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“My own heart let me more have pity on; let”

    My own heart let me more have pity on; let

    Me live to my sad self hereafter kind,

    Charitable; not live this tormented mind

    With this tormented mind tormenting yet.

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“No worst, there is none. Pitched past pitch of grief,”

    No worst, there is none.   Pitched past pitch of grief,

    More pangs will, schooled at forepangs, wilder wring.

    Comforter, where, where is your comforting?

    Mary, mother of us, where is your relief?

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“Patience, hard thing! the hard thing but to pray,”

    Patience, hard thing! the hard thing but to pray,

    But bid for, Patience is! Patience who asks

    Wants war, wants wounds; weary his times, his tasks;

    To do without, take tosses, and obey.

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    When will you ever, Peace, wild wooddove, shy wings shut,

    Your round me roaming end, and under be my boughs?

    When, when, Peacè, will you, Peace? I’ll not play hypocrite

    To own my heart: I yield you do come sometimes; but

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Pied Beauty

    Glory be to God for dappled things—

    For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;

    For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;

    Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;

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    Earth, sweet Earth, sweet landscape, with leavès throng

    And louchèd low grass, heaven that dost appeal

    To, with no tongue to plead, no heart to feel;

    That canst but only be, but dost that long—

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Spelt from Sibyl’s Leaves

    Earnest, earthless, equal, attuneable, | vaulty, voluminous, . .stupendous

    Evening strains to be tíme’s vást, | womb-of-all, home-of-all, hearse-of-all night.

    Her fond yellow hornlight wound to the west, | her wild hollow hoarlight hung to the height

    Waste; her earliest stars, earl-stars, | stárs principal, overbend us,

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    Nothing is so beautiful as spring—

    When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;

    Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush

    Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring

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Spring and Fall

    Márgarét, áre you gríeving

    Over Goldengrove unleaving?

    Leáves, like the things of man, you

    With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?

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That Nature is a Heraclitean Fire and of the comfort of the Resurrection

    Cloud-puffball, torn tufts, tossed pillows | flaunt forth, then chevy on an air-

    built thoroughfare: heaven-roysterers, in gay-gangs | they throng; they glitter in marches.

    Down roughcast, down dazzling whitewash, | wherever an elm arches,

    Shivelights and shadowtackle in long | lashes lace, lance, and pair.

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The Blessed Virgin compared to the Air we Breathe

    Wild air, world-mothering air,

    Nestling me everywhere,

    That each eyelash or hair

    Girdles; goes home betwixt

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The Caged Skylark

    As a dare-gale skylark scanted in a dull cage

    Man’s mounting spirit in his bone-house, mean house, dwells—

    That bird beyond the remembering his free fells;

    This in drudgery, day-labouring-out life’s age.

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The Habit of Perfection

    Elected Silence, sing to me

    And beat upon my whorlèd ear,

    Pipe me to pastures still and be

    The music that I care to hear.

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The Lantern Out of Doors

    Sometimes a lantern moves along the night,

    That interests our eyes. And who goes there?

    I think; where from and bound, I wonder, where,

    With, all down darkness wide, his wading light?

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The Leaden Echo and the Golden Echo

    How to keep–is there ány any, is there none such, nowhere

    known some, bow or brooch or braid or brace, láce, latch

    or catch or key to keep

    Back beauty, keep it, beauty, beauty, beauty, . . . from vanishing


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The Loss of the Eurydice

    THE Eurydice–it concerned thee, O Lord:

    Three hundred souls, O alas! on board,

    Some asleep unawakened, all un-

    warned, eleven fathoms fallen

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The Sea and the Skylark

    On ear and ear two noises too old to end

    Trench—right, the tide that ramps against the shore;

    With a flood or a fall, low lull-off or all roar,

    Frequenting there while moon shall wear and wend.

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The Starlight Night

    Look at the stars! look, look up at the skies!

    O look at all the fire-folk sitting in the air!

    The bright boroughs, the circle-citadels there!

    Down in dim woods the diamond delves! the elves’-eyes!

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The Windhover

    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

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The Wreck of the Deutschland

    Thou mastering me

    God! giver of breath and bread;

    World’s strand, sway of the sea;

    Lord of living and dead;

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“Thou art indeed just, Lord, if I contend”

    Thou art indeed just, Lord, if I contend

    With thee; but, sir, so what I plead is just.

    Why do sinners’ ways prosper? and why must

    Disappointment all I endeavour end?

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To R.B.

    The fine delight that fathers thought; the strong

    Spur, live and lancing like the blowpipe flame,

    Breathes once and, quenchèd faster than it came,

    Leaves yet the mind a mother of immortal song.

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Tom’s Garland

    Tom–garlanded with squat and surly steel

    Tom; then Tom’s fallowbootfellow piles pick

    By him and rips out rockfire homeforth–sturdy Dick;

    Tom Heart-at-ease, Tom Navvy: he is all for his meal

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“To seem the stranger lies my lot, my life”

    To seem the stranger lies my lot, my life

    Among strangèrs.   Father and mother dear,

    Brothers and sisters are in Christ not near

    And he my peace my parting, sword and strife.

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