Gerard Manley Hopkins

(28 July 1844 – 8 June 1889 / Stratford, Essex)

The Furl of Fresh-Leaved Dogrose Down


The furl of fresh-leaved dogrose down
His cheeks the forth-and-flaunting sun
Had swarthed about with lion-brown
Before the Spring was done.

His locks like all a ravel-rope’s-end,
With hempen strands in spray—
Fallow, foam-fallow, hanks—fall’n off their ranks,
Swung down at a disarray.

Or like a juicy and jostling shock
Of bluebells sheaved in May
Or wind-long fleeces on the flock
A day off shearing day.

Then over his turnèd temples—here—
Was a rose, or, failing that,
Rough-Robin or five-lipped campion clear
For a beauty-bow to his hat,
And the sunlight sidled, like dewdrops, like dandled diamonds
Through the sieve of the straw of the plait.
. . . . . . .

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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