Verse > Gerard Manley Hopkins > Poems
Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844–89).  Poems.  1918.
15. The Caged Skylark
AS a dare-gale skylark scanted in a dull cage
  Man’s mounting spirit in his bone-house, mean house, dwells—
  That bird beyond the remembering his free fells;
This in drudgery, day-labouring-out life’s age.
Though aloft on turf or perch or poor low stage,        5
  Both sing sometímes the sweetest, sweetest spells,
  Yet both droop deadly sómetimes in their cells
Or wring their barriers in bursts of fear or rage.
Not that the sweet-fowl, song-fowl, needs no rest—
Why, hear him, hear him babble and drop down to his nest,        10
   But his own nest, wild nest, no prison.
Man’s spirit will be flesh-bound when found at best,
But uncumbered: meadow-down is not distressed
  For a rainbow footing it nor he for his bónes rísen.
See Notes.


Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.