Friday, 25 March 2016


I wake and feel the fell of dark not day.
What hours, O what black hours we have spent
This night! what sights you, heart, saw; ways you went!
And more must, in yet longer light's delay.
With witness I speak this. But where I say
Hours I mean years, mean life. And my lament
Is cries countless, cries like dead letters sent
To dearest him that lives alas! away.

I am gall, I am heartburn. God's most deep decree
Bitter would have me taste: my taste was me;
Bones built in me, flesh filled, blood brimmed the curse.
Selfyeast of spirit a dull dough sours. I see
The lost are like this, and their scourge to be
As I am mine, their sweating selves; but worse.

– Gerald Manley Hopkins

Photo:  Part of the bronze sculpture known as the Kelham Rood by the English sculptor Charles Sargeant Jagger, depicting Christ on the cross flanked by figures of St John and Mary the Mother of Jesus. The sculptural group was commissioned in 1927 to adorn the Great Chapel at Kelham Hall, Kelham, Nottinghamshire, when it was a theological training college run by the Society of the Sacred Mission. It is currently in the church of St John the Divine, Kennington.

(c) Brian Sibley 2012

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