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Saturday, November 13, 2010

My Own Heart Let Me More Have Pity On

(Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris — flying
buttresses or masonry columns placed
on the outside to support and carry the
weight of the walls and roofs of Gothic

Let me have more pity on my own heart, the poet writes, for I cannot go it alone.


My own heart let me more have pity on; let
Me live to my sad self hereafter kind,
Charitable; not live this tormented mind
With this tormented mind tormenting yet.
I cast for comfort I can no more get
By groping round my comfortless, than blind
Eyes in their dark can day or thirst can find
Thirst’s all-in-all in all a world of wet.

Soul, self; come, poor Jackself, I do advise
You, jaded, let be; call off thoughts awhile
Elsewhere; leave comfort root-room; let joy size
At God knows when to God knows what; whose smile
’s not wrung, see you; unforeseen times rather — as skies
Betweenpie mountains — lights a lovely mile.

~ Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J.(1844-1899), British poet whose work has had a profound influence on modern poetry

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