Ash-Boughs

Gerard Manley Hopkins 1844 (Stratford, London) – 1889 (Dublin)

a.

Not of all my eyes see, wandering on the world,
Is anything a milk to the mind so, so sighs deep
Poetry to it, as a tree whose boughs break in the sky.
Say it is ashboughs: whether on a December day and furled
Fast ór they in clammyish lashtender combs creep
Apart wide and new-nestle at heaven most high.
They touch heaven, tabour on it; how their talons sweep
The smouldering enormous winter welkin! May
Mells blue and snowwhite through them, a fringe and fray
Of greenery: it is old earth’s groping towards the steep
Heaven whom she childs us by.

(Variant from line 7.) b.

They touch, they tabour on it, hover on it[; here, there hurled],
With talons sweep
The smouldering enormous winter welkin. [Eye,
But more cheer is when] May
Mells blue with snowwhite through their fringe and fray
Of greenery and old earth gropes for, grasps at steep
Heaven with it whom she childs things by.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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