The Beauty of the Church

A great poem from an underappreciated poet.


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!

The grey lawns cold where gold, where quickgold lies!

    Wind-beat whitebeam! airy abeles set on a flare!

    Flake-doves sent floating forth at a farmyard scare!

Ah well! it is all a purchase, all is a prize.


Buy then! bid then! – What? – Prayer, patience, alms, vows.

Look, look: a May-mess, like on orchard boughs!

    Look! March-bloom, like on mealed-with-yellow sallows!

These are indeed the barn; withindoors house

The shocks. This piece-bright paling shuts the spouse

    Christ home, Christ and his mother and all his hallows.


Gerard Hopkins

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