Verse > Anthologies > Robert Bridges, ed. > The Spirit of Man: An Anthology
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Robert Bridges, ed. (1844–1930).  The Spirit of Man: An Anthology.  1916.
 
The Handsome Heart

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844–1889)
 
BUT 1 tell me, child, your choice; what shall I buy
You?—Father, what you buy me I like best.—
With the sweetest air that said, still plied and pressed,
He swung to his first poised purport of reply.
 
What the soul is! which, like Carriers let fly—        5
Doff darkness, homing nature knows the rest—
To its own fine function, wild and self-instressed,
Falls light as ten years long taught what and why.
 
Mannerly-hearted! more than handsome face—
Beauty’s bearing or Muse of mounting vein,        10
All, in this case, bathed in high hallowing grace—
 
Of heaven what boon to buy you, boy, or gain
Not granted? Only—O, on that path you pace
Run all your race, O brace sturdier that young strain!
 
Note 1. G. M. Hopkins. The handsome heart. At a gracious answer. The author was a Jesuit priest, and Father in line 1 is the spiritual title. [back]
 
 
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