Gerard Manley Hopkins - Pied Beauty

It is Autumn now in England and the trees are looking like beautiful patchwork quilts - or Joseph's 'coat of many colours' (to quote the musical rather than the Bible)! Dappled colours, misty mornings, pale sunlight, glorious sunsets - it is a very lovely time of year despite it being the precursor to poorer weather and darker days.

And here is something else lovely that echoes the wonder of this season. I can just imagine Gerard Manley Hopkins sitting in the grounds of St Beuno's in North Wales writing this (he was probably safely in his room - but, hey, I can imagine)!

Pied Beauty

Glory be to God for dappled things --
&nbsp&nbsp For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
&nbsp&nbsp Landscape plotted and pieced -- fold, fallow, and plough;
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
&nbsp&nbsp Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
&nbsp&nbsp &nbsp&nbsp With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Praise him.


  1. Jackie Bellfield  

    19 October 2009 at 20:59

    hmm very thoughtful. Can God change - is creation changing? or is it past change? is the writer juxtasposing God's changelessness with change and mutation of God's creation

    It strikes me this is about variety and wow I see that lying on my front lawn.

  2. Jayne  

    19 October 2009 at 21:42

    I too love this time of year and the picture and poem remind me of my little piece of oasis near to Daresbury Point - a beautiful little pond where I went today, the lilies still in flower, the sun dazzling on the pond through a beautiful dappled sky,fish jumping and of all amazing sights, a beautiful kingfisher went flying by, calling as it went, circling the pond as if on display just for me. I wish I could write like this guy and capture the beauty in such a way but I can and do certainly enjoy God's beauty before returning to the frenetic workplace which in its own way is also wonderful! Lovely Kath. x

    PS Time for the leaf blower hey Jackie?!

  3. Kath Williamson  

    19 October 2009 at 23:54

    mmm.. yes - nature can be devastatingly beautiful - and sometimes just devastating!
    I love the celebration of 'dappled things' in this poem. It reminds me of me - a real mixed bag of good and bad, light and darkness, love and fear.

  4. Jackie Bellfield  

    20 October 2009 at 01:35

    i think you captured your peaceful time quite beautifully Jayne well done x