Gerard Manley Hopkins

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

To His Watch


Mortal my mate, bearing my rock-a-heart
Warm beat with cold beat company, shall I
Earlier or you fail at our force, and lie
The ruins of, rifled, once a world of art?
The telling time our task is; time’s some part,
Not all, but we were framed to fail and die—
One spell and well that one. There, ah thereby
Is comfort’s carol of all or woe’s worst smart.

Field-flown, the departed day no morning brings
Saying ‘This was yours’ with her, but new one, worse,
And then that last and shortest…

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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