The Half-way House

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

Love I was shewn upon the mountain-side
And bid to catch Him ere the dropp of day.
See, Love, I creep and Thou on wings dost ride:
Love it is evening now and Thou away;
Love, it grows darker here and Thou art above;
Love, come down to me if Thy name be Love.

My national old Egyptian reed gave way;
I took of vine a cross-barred rod or rood.
Then next I hungered: Love when here, they say,
Or once or never took love's proper food;
But I must yield the chase, or rest and eat. -
Peace and food cheered me where four rough ways meet.

Hear yet my paradox: Love, when all is given,
To see Thee I must [see] Thee, to love, love;
I must o'ertake Thee at once and under heaven
If I shall overtake Thee at last above.
You have your wish; enter these walls, one said:
He is with you in the breaking of the bread.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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