I fell in under the spell of this poem at unlikely time–as a freshman in college. I didn’t understand poetry at the time nor did I grasp its relevance to my life, but when Professor George read Pied Beauty, I felt it, in my bones. I could appreciate the idea of “dappled things” like on this first day of a New England fall.
Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844–89). Poems. 1918.
13. Pied Beauty
|GLORY be to God for dappled things—|
|For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;|
|For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;|
|Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;|
|Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;||5|
|And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.|
|All things counter, original, spare, strange;|
|Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)|
|With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;|
|He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:||10|