Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844–1889)
Pure fasted faces draw unto this feast:
God comes all sweetness to your Lenten lips.
You striped in secret with breath-taking whips,
Those crooked rough-scored chequers may be pieced
To crosses meant for Jesu's; you whom the East
With draught of thin and pursuant cold so nips
Breathe Easter now; you serged fellowships,
You vigil-keepers with low flames decreased,
God shall o'er-brim the measures you have spent
With oil of gladness, for sackcloth and frieze
And the ever-fretting shirt of punishment
Give myrrhy-threaded golden folds of ease.
Your scarce-sheathed bones are weary of being bent:
Lo, God shall strengthen all the feeble knees.
"Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844–1889) was an English poet and Jesuit priest, whose posthumous fame placed him among leading Victorian poets. His prosody — notably his concept of sprung rhythm — established him as an innovator, as did his praise of God through vivid use of imagery and nature. Only after his death were a few of Hopkins's mature poems published in anthologies with the hope for wider acceptance of his style. By 1930 Hopkins's work was seen as one of the most original literary advances of his century. According to John Bayley, "All his life Hopkins was haunted by the sense of personal bankruptcy and impotence, the straining of 'time's eunuch' with no more to 'spend'... " a sense of inadequacy, graphically expressed in his last sonnets. Toward the end of his life, Hopkins suffered several long bouts of depression. His "terrible sonnets" struggle with problems of religious doubt. He self-described them as "[t]he thin gleanings of a long weary while." —Adapted from Wikipedia"
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