by Gerard Manley Hopkins
You may find it helpful to listen to Richard Austin’s excellent recitation of this poem.
To Christ our Lord
I CAUGHT this morning morning’s minion, king-
dom of daylight’s dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Fal-
con, in his riding
Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstacy! then off, off forth on swing,
As a skate’s heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend:
the hurl and gliding
Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird,—the achieve of, the mastery of the
Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here
Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a
Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!
No wonder of it: shéer plód makes plough down
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermillion.
Hopkins referred to “The Windhover” as “the best thing I ever wrote.”