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Mary's May

Gerard Manley Hopkins - Fri, May 24th 2013


Mary's May

Flesh and fleece, fur and feather,

Grass and greenworld all together;

Star-eyed strawberry-breasted

Throttle above her nested.


Cluster of bugle blue eggs thin

Forms and warms the life within;

And bird and blossom swell

In shod or sheath or shell.


All things rising, all things sizing

Mary seeing, sympathising

With that world of good,

Nature's motherhood.


Their magnifying of each its kind

With delight calls to mind

How she did in her stored

Magnify the Lord.


Well, but there was more than this :

Spring's universal bliss

Much, had much to say

To offering Mary May.


When drop-of-blood-and-foam-dapple

Bloom lights the orchard-apple

And thicket and thorp are merry

With silver-surfed cherry.


And azuring-over greyball makes

Wood banks and brakes wash wet like lakes

And magic cuckoocall

Caps, clears, and clinches all -


This ecstasy all through mothering earth

Tells Mary her mirth till Christ's birth

To remember, and exultation

In God who was her salvation.


Gerard Manley Hopkins   (From ' The May Magnificat' )

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