Introductory Note:

Gerard Manley Hopkins, SJ was a nineteenth-century Jesuit priest who wrote astonishing poetry as a way of attending to the presence of God in the world. After his death, he came to be recognized as one of the great Victorian poets. Today we share “God’s Grandeur,” in which Hopkins reaches out across the decades to remind us that for all the corruption and confusion in the world, there still “lives the dearest freshness deep down things”—because the Triune God has not given up on his creation.

Renovaré Team

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? 

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.

Source: Gerard Manley Hopkins: Poems and Prose (Penguin Classics, 1985