Verse > Gerard Manley Hopkins > Poems
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Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844–89).  Poems.  1918.
 
43. Harry Ploughman
 
 
HARD as hurdle arms, with a broth of goldish flue
Breathed round; the rack of ribs; the scooped flank; lank
Rope-over thigh; knee-nave; and barrelled shank—
        Head and foot, shoulder and shank—
By a grey eye’s heed steered well, one crew, fall to;        5
Stand at stress. Each limb’s barrowy brawn, his thew
That onewhere curded, onewhere sucked or sank—
            Soared or sank—,
Though as a beechbole firm, finds his, as at a roll-call, rank
And features, in flesh, what deed he each must do—        10
        His sinew-service where do.
 
He leans to it, Harry bends, look. Back, elbow, and liquid waist
In him, all quail to the wallowing o’ the plough: ’s cheek crimsons; curls
Wag or crossbridle, in a wind lifted, windlaced—
        See his wind- lilylocks -laced;        15
Churlsgrace, too, child of Amansstrength, how it hangs or hurls
Them—broad in bluff hide his frowning feet lashed! raced
With, along them, cragiron under and cold furls—
        With-a-fountain’s shining-shot furls.
 
See Notes.
 

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