“I am so happy! I am so happy!”
–dying words of Gerard Manley Hopkins
Youth brought him joy in seeing moles and stains
On mottled creatures, splotched with shades of dun.
He thrilled at freckled beasts, all made by One
Above earth’s shadowed flesh–a Light who reigns
And spreads a streaked abundance far from lanes
That carry trade-seared mongers, never done
With hawking sameness made by factory run.
Wide-scattered meads displayed earth’s dappled strains.
Hard years surround him with the “fell of dark”;
In anguished sonnet-wrestlings, he cries out:
The sun that showed me brindled cow and trout—
Where is it? Blackness swallows every spark!
But then, pied grace reveals to dying eyes
His moldy grave’s a gate to Paradise.