Verse > Gerard Manley Hopkins > Poems
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Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844–89).  Poems.  1918.
 
56. (Ash-boughs)
 
 
a.

NOT of all my eyes see, wandering on the world,
Is anything a milk to the mind so, so sighs deep
Poetry to it, as a tree whose boughs break in the sky.
Say it is ashboughs: whether on a December day and furled
Fast ór they in clammyish lashtender combs creep        5
Apart wide and new-nestle at heaven most high.
They touch heaven, tabour on it; how their talons sweep
The smouldering enormous winter welkin! May
Mells blue and snowwhite through them, a fringe and fray
Of greenery: it is old earth’s groping towards the steep        10
        Heaven whom she childs us by.
 
(Variant from line 7.) b.

They touch, they tabour on it, hover on it[; here, there hurled],
        With talons sweep
The smouldering enormous winter welkin. [Eye,
        But more cheer is when] May        15
Mells blue with snowwhite through their fringe and fray
Of greenery and old earth gropes for, grasps at steep
        Heaven with it whom she childs things by.
 
See Notes.
 

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