As Kingfishers Catch Fire

As king fishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;
As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell’s
Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;
Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:
Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;
Selves — goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,
Crying What I do is me: for that I came.

I say more: the just man justices;
Keeps grace: that keeps all his goings graces;
Acts in God’s eye what in God’s eye he is —
Christ. For Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
To the Father through the features of men’s faces.

–Gerard Manley Hopkins

4 thoughts on “As Kingfishers Catch Fire

  1. Oh. There aren’t really words, but I do love this chap’s poetry…and he’s saying something I’ve been thinking, only more of it, and much more beautiful! Thank you for sharing this.

  2. I love Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poetry–and I recognized his style almost right away even though I didn’t remember the poem. Beautiful! Reading this was definitely a treat for my soul.

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