A striking line
in Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poem “The Leaden Echo and the Golden Echo,” “Give
beauty back, beauty, beauty, beauty, back to God, beauty’s self and beauty’s
giver.” English Jesuit priest Gerard Manley Hopkins
(1844-1889) was renowned for his use of Blessed John Duns Scotus’ theology
and his creative use of language and rhythm (notice Hopkins’ characteristic
stresses on certain words).
The Leaden Echo and the Golden Echo
from St. Winefred’s Well)
The Leaden Echo
How to kéep–is there ány any, is
there none such, nowhere known some, bow or
brooch or braid or brace, láce,
latch or catch or key to keep
Back beauty, keep it, beauty, beauty, beauty, …
from vanishing away?
Ó is there no frowning of these wrinkles, rankéd wrinkles
Dówn? no waving off of these most mournful messengers, still
sad and stealing messengers of grey?
No there ‘s none, there ‘s none, O no
there ‘s none,
Nor can you long be, what you now are, called fair,
Do what you
may do, what, do what you may,
And wisdom is early to despair:
since, no, nothing can be done
To keep at bay
Age and age’s evils, hoar
Ruck and wrinkle, drooping, dying, death’s worst, winding sheets, tombs
and worms and
tumbling to decay;
So be beginning, be beginning to despair.
there ‘s none; no no no there ‘s none:
Be beginning to despair, to
Despair, despair, despair, despair.