Monday, May 19, 2008

The Starlight Night

Look at the stars! look. look up at the skies!
O look at all the fire-folk sitting in the air!
The bright boroughs*, the circle-citadels* there!
Down in the dim woods the diamond delves**! the elves' eyes!
The grey lawns cold where gold, where quickgold*** lies!...
Ah, well! it is all a purchase, all is a prize.****
---from Gerard Manley Hopkins, 1877

*city images, as if the constellations were fortified cities
**the diamond-like stars dive down to the "land of elves"; (Hopkins nor I really believe in elves--it's just a fanciful & joyful flight of poetic symbolism)
***the light of the heavenly bodies is like "free gold" to anyone who takes the trouble to take it in, but it's gold in motion---it won't be there forever
****the prize comes from the purchase made by Jesus Christ; He died for your sins so all this, too, can be yours, along with the forgiveness and life you have in Him

2 comments:

Julana said...

Paul Mariani is coming out with a bio of Hopkins this fall. I'm looking forward to it.

C. Marie Byars said...

Thanks for the info!