Spring and Fall
To a Young Child
Márgarét, are you gríeving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leáves, líke the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! ás the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you wíll weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sórrow's spríngs áre the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It ís the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.
Gerard Manley Hopkins
Last Sunday the Old Testament reading was from Isaiah: "... No ear has ever heard, no eye ever seen.." so that sent me right into this poem. Because I am capable of paying attention to anything except the actual Mass. At least I finally achieved my goal of being like Vicky Austin, who can recite "The Blessed Damozel" in her head during church, because I do have "Spring and Fall" memorized (in fact that and "To An Athlete Dying Young" are my only surefire memory pieces).
Tears were absolutely pouring down my cheeks. Why? I mean, we know it's not exactly difficult to open the MomVee faucets, but a navel-gazer like me can't help but stop and ponder this for a moment. Is it because the trees are in fact unleaving right now? Or because I haven't really thought of this poem since I got a Margaret of my very own?