To the Goddess named --- Mary
Again, look overhead
how air is azuréd;
O how! nay do but stand
where you can lift your hand
skywards; rich, rich it laps
round the four fingergaps.
Yet such a sapphire shot,
charged, steepéd sky will not
stain light. Yea, mark you this:
it has no prejudice.
The glass-blue days are those
when every colour glows,
each shape and shadow shows.
Blue be it; this blue heaven
the seven or seven times seven
hued sunbeam will transmit
perfect, not alter it.
Whereas did air not make
this bath of blue and slake
his fire, the sun would bake
a blear and blinding ball.

Wild air, world-Mothering air,
nestling me everywhere,
that each eyelash or hair
girdles; goes home betwixt
the fleeciest, frailest-flixed
snowflake; that's fairly mixed
with, riddles, and is rife
in every least thing's life;
this needful, never spent,
and nursing element;
this air, which, by life's law,
my lung must draw and draw
now but to breath its praise,
minds me in many ways
of Her Who Mothers each new grace
that does now reach our race.
By Her, I say, we are wound
with mercy, round and round,
as if with air, wondrous robe,
mantling our darling globe.
Above me, round me lie
with sweet and scarless sky;
stir in my ears, speak there
of Your love, O live air,
world-Mothering air, air wild
fold home, fast fold thy child.

from The Blessed Virgin Compared to the Air We Breathe
Gerard Manley Hopkins

return to Home Page or use Her Cyclopedia Index