I wake and feel the fell of dark

I wake and feel the fell of dark, not day.
What hours, O what black hours we have spent
This night! what sights you, heart, saw; ways you went!
And more must, in yet longer light’s delay.
With witness I speak this. But where I say
Hours I mean yours, mean life. And my lament
Is cries countless, cries like dead letters sent
To dearest him that lives alas! away.

I am gall, I am heartburn. God’s most deep decree
Bitter would have me taste; my taste was me;
Bones built in me, flesh filled, blood brimmed the curse
Selfyeast of spirit a dull dough sours. I see
The lost are like this, and their scourge to be
As I am mine, their sweating selves; but worse.

-Gerard Manley Hopkins



This poem comes from a book lent to me by a friend today. I was already aware of his poetry, having been directed to look at him by one of my university supervisors, but this poem seems to encapsulate how I have felt in the past few weeks while lying awake, unable to sleep until the small hours, or not so small hours, of the morning.


One Response to “I wake and feel the fell of dark”

  1. Dale Campbell Says:

    Gerald Manley Hopkins – Everything I read I loooove. Must find a book of his poetry!

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