Tom's Garland

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

upon the Unemployed

Tom—garlanded with squat and surly steel
Tom; then Tom’s fallowbootfellow piles pick
By him and rips out rockfire homeforth—sturdy Dick;
Tom Heart-at-ease, Tom Navvy: he is all for his meal
Sure, ’s bed now. Low be it: lustily he his low lot (feel
That ne’er need hunger, Tom; Tom seldom sick,
Seldomer heartsore; that treads through, prickproof, thick
Thousands of thorns, thoughts) swings though. Commonweal
Little I reck ho! lacklevel in, if all had bread:
What! Country is honour enough in all us—lordly head,
With heaven’s lights high hung round, or, mother-ground
That mammocks, mighty foot. But no way sped,
Nor mind nor mainstrength; gold go garlanded
With, perilous, O nó; nor yet plod safe shod sound;
Undenizened, beyond bound
Of earth’s glory, earth’s ease, all; no one, nowhere,
In wide the world’s weal; rare gold, bold steel, bare
In both; care, but share care—
This, by Despair, bred Hangdog dull; by Rage,
Manwolf; worse; and their packs infest the age.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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