To what serves Mortal Beauty?

A poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins

To what serves mortal beauty | dangerous; does set danc-
ing blood the O-seal-that-so | feature, flung prouder form
Than Purcell tune lets tread to? | See: it does this: keeps warm
Men's wits to the things that are; | what good means - where a glance
Master more may than gaze, | gaze out of countenance.
Those lovely lads once, wet-fresh | windfalls of war's storm,
How then should Gregory, a father, | have glean├Ęd else from swarm-
ed Rome? But God to a nation | dealt that day's dear chance.
To man, that needs would worship | block or barren stone,
Our law says: Love what are | love's worthiest, were all known;
World's loveliest - men's selves. Self | flashes off frame and face.
What do then? how meet beauty? | Merely meet it; own,
Home at heart, heaven's sweet gift; | then leave, let that alone.
Yea, wish that though, wish all, | God's better beauty, grace.

Reader Comments

Tell us what you think of 'To what serves Mortal Beauty?' by Gerard Manley Hopkins

comments powered by Disqus

Home | Search | About this website | Contact | Privacy Policy