In the Valley of the Elwy

By Gerard Manley Hopkins 1844–1889 Gerard Manley Hopkins
I remember a house where all were good
   To me, God knows, deserving no such thing:
   Comforting smell breathed at very entering,
Fetched fresh, as I suppose, off some sweet wood.
That cordial air made those kind people a hood
   All over, as a bevy of eggs the mothering wing
   Will, or mild nights the new morsels of Spring:
Why, it seemed of course; seemed of right it should.

Lovely the woods, waters, meadows, combes, vales,
All the air things wear that build this world of Wales;
   Only the inmate does not correspond:
God, lover of souls, swaying considerate scales,
Complete thy creature dear O where it fails,
   Being mighty a master, being a father and fond.

Source: Gerard Manley Hopkins: Poems and Prose (Penguin Classics, 1985)

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Poet Gerard Manley Hopkins 1844–1889

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Subjects Relationships, Nature, Trees & Flowers, Religion, God & the Divine

Poetic Terms Sonnet

 Gerard  Manley Hopkins

Biography

Gerard Manley Hopkins is one of the three or four greatest poets of the Victorian era. He is regarded by different readers as the greatest Victorian poet of religion, of nature, or of melancholy. However, because his style was so radically different from that of his contemporaries, his best poems were not accepted for publication during his lifetime, and his achievement was not fully recognized until after World War I.

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Nature, Trees & Flowers, Religion, God & the Divine

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Poetic Terms Sonnet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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