GERALD* HOPKINS

 

Manly Gerald Hopkins,
  manly Gerald Manley Hopkins,
How safe in trust thou must be
  behind the bosom of the Lord.

Thou wert a man, Manley Hopkins,
  a man who minded men of yore
In priestly garb, thou wert a force,
  in poems, yea -- a man times four.

No stranger that, to strength,
  no prisoner of pride,
The earth itself still mourns the day
  that Gerald manly died.

Manly, Gerald Manley,
  you fared so fiercely forth
No stumbling block did bar your way
  to the footgate of the Lord.

Behold, behold' --
  like all men Manley died
His manly bones lay sunk in sand,
  His spirit, sure, survived.

Gerald Manley Hopkins,
  manly Gerald Manley Hopkins,
Thou art surely safe today
  in the stronghold of our Lord.

 

---jrw 5:10pm
3-16-96

 

*[sic.] [I noted, with much embarrassment,
after I wrote this poem, that the man's name
was Gerard, not Gerald. However, it ruined the
rhythm of the poem to use Gerard, because the
stress is on the wrong syllable. So, sadly,
I kept it the way it was. The sentiment
remains intact and sure, anyway.]