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Archive for the ‘Spring’ Category

Spring and Death

I had a dream. A wondrous thing:
It seem’d an evening in the Spring:
– A little sickness in the air
From too much fragrance everywhere: –
As I walk’d a stilly wood,
Sudden, Death before me stood:
In a hollow lush and damp,
He seem’d a dismal murky stamp
On the flowers that were seen
His charnelhouse-grate ribs between,
And with coffin-black he barr’d the green.
“Death,” said I, “what do you here
At this Spring season of the year?”
“I mark the flowers ere the prime
Which I may tell at Autumn-time.”
Ere I had further question made
Death was vanished from the glade.
Then I saw that he had bound
Many trees and flowers round
With a subtle web of black,
And that such a sable track,
Lay along the grasses green
From the spot where he had been.
But the Spring-tide pass’d the same;
Summer was as full of flame;
Autumn-time no earlier came.
And the flowers that he had tied,
As I mark’d not always died
Sooner than their mates; and yet
Their fall was fuller of regret:
It seem’d so hard and dismal thing,
Death, to mark them in the Spring.
-Gerard Manly Hopkins

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Notes on the Spring Holidays (excerpt)

III
Hanukkah

In a world where each man must be of use
and each thing useful, the rebellious Jews
light not one light but eight–
not to see by but to look at.

-Charles Reznikoff

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Spring and Fall, to a Young Child

Margaret, are you grieving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leaves, like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! as the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you will weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sorrow’s springs are the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It is the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.

-Gerard Manley Hopkins

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