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Five Odes to God in Nature on Poems by Gerard M. Hopkins

Word count: 464

Song Cycle by Donna N. Robertson (b. 1935)

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?. God's Grandeur [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil 
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod? 
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil; 
And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil 
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went 
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs -- 
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent   
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. Hurrahing in harvest [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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Summer ends now; now, barbarous in beauty, the stooks arise
  Around; up above, what wind-walks! what lovely behaviour
  Of silk-sack clouds! has wilder, wilful-wavier
Meal-drift moulded ever and melted across skies?

I walk, I lift up, I lift up heart, eyes,
  Down all that glory in the heavens to glean our Saviour;
  And, éyes, heárt, what looks, what lips yet gave you a
Rapturous love's greeting of realer, of rounder replies?

And the azurous hung hills are his world-wielding shoulder
  Majestic -- as a stallion stalwart, very-violet-sweet! --
These things, these things were here and but the beholder
  Wanting; which two when they once meet,
The heart rears wings bold and bolder
  And hurls for him, O half hurls earth for him off under his feet.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. Moonrise [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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I woke in the midsummer not-to-call night
  in the white and the walk of the morning:
The moon, dwindled and thinned to the fringe
  of a fingernail held to the candle,
Or paring of paradisaical fruit,
  lovely in waning but lustreless
Stepped from the stool, drew back from the barrow
  of dark Maenefa the mountain;
A cusp yet clasped him, a fluke yet fanged him
  entangled him, not quite utterly.
This was the prized, the desirable sight,
  unsought, presented so easily,
Parted me leaf and leaf, divided me
  eyelid and eyelid of slumber.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. Thou art indeed just [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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Thou art indeed just, Lord, if I contend
With thee; but, sir, so what I plead is just.
Why do sinners' ways prosper? and why must
Disappointment all I endeavour end?
 
  Wert thou my enemy, O thou my friend,
How wouldst thou worse, I wonder, than thou dost
Defeat, thwart me? Oh, the sots and thralls of lust
Do in spare hours more thrive than I that spend,
Sir, life upon thy cause. See, banks and brakes
Now leavèd how thick! lacèd they are again
With fretty chervil, look, and fresh wind shakes
Them; birds build -- but not I build; no, but strain,
Time's eunuch, and not breed one work that wakes.
Mine, O thou lord of life, send my roots rain.


The poem is headed with the following quote: Justus quidem tu es, Domine, si disputem tecum: verumtamen justa loquar ad te: Quare via impiorum prosperatur? &c.
Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

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