Henry Purcell

Poem By Gerard Manley Hopkins

The poet wishes well to the divine genius of Purcell and praises him that, whereas other musicians have given utterance to the moods of man’s mind, he has, beyond that, uttered in notes the very make and species of man as created both in him and in all men generally.


Have, fair fallen, O fair, fair have fallen, so dear
To me, so arch-especial a spirit as heaves in Henry Purcell,
An age is now since passed, since parted; with the reversal
Of the outward sentence low lays him, listed to a heresy, here.

Not mood in him nor meaning, proud fire or sacred fear,
Or love or pity or all that sweet notes not his might nursle:
It is the forgèd feature finds me; it is the rehearsal
Of own, of abrupt self there so thrusts on, so throngs the ear.

Let him Oh! with his air of angels then lift me, lay me! only I’ll
Have an eye to the sakes of him, quaint moonmarks, to his pelted plumage under
Wings: so some great stormfowl, whenever he has walked his while

The thunder-purple seabeach plumèd purple-of-thunder,
If a wuthering of his palmy snow-pinions scatter a colossal smile
Off him, but meaning motion fans fresh our wits with wonder.

Comments about Henry Purcell

''the divine genius of Purcell'', yes, absolutely!


Rating Card

2,9 out of 5
78 total ratings

Other poems of HOPKINS

God's Grandeur

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?

Heaven-Haven

I have desired to go
Where springs not fail,
To fields where flies no sharp and sided hail,
And a few lilies blow.

Carrion Comfort

Not, I'll not, carrion comfort, Despair, not feast on thee;
Not untwist -- slack they may be -- these last strands of man
In me {'o}r, most weary, cry I can no more. I can;
Can something, hope, wish day come, not choose not to be.

Easter Communion

Pure fasted faces draw unto this feast:
God comes all sweetness to your Lenten lips.
You striped in secret with breath-taking whips,
Those crooked rough-scored chequers may be pieced

Felix Randal

F{'e}lix R{'a}ndal the f{'a}rrier, O is he d{'e}ad then? my d{'u}ty all
{'e}nded,
Who have watched his mould of man, bigboned and hardy-handsome
Pining, pining, till time when reason rambled in it, and some

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;