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The Loss Of The Eurydice Analysis

Author: poem of Gerard Manley Hopkins Type: poem Views: 3

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Foundered March 24. 1878


The Eurydice—it concerned thee, O Lord:

Three hundred souls, O alas! on board,

    Some asleep unawakened, all un-

warned, eleven fathoms fallen


Where she foundered! One stroke

Felled and furled them, the hearts of oak!

    And flockbells off the aerial

Downs' forefalls beat to the burial.


For did she pride her, freighted fully, on

Bounden bales or a hoard of bullion?—

    Precious passing measure,

Lads and men her lade and treasure.


She had come from a cruise, training seamen—

Men, boldboys soon to be men:

    Must it, worst weather,

Blast bole and bloom together?


No Atlantic squall overwrought her

Or rearing billow of the Biscay water:

    Home was hard at hand

And the blow bore from land.


And you were a liar, O blue March day.

Bright sun lanced fire in the heavenly bay;

    But what black Boreas wrecked her? he

Came equipped, deadly-electric,


A beetling baldbright cloud thorough England

Riding: there did stores not mingle? and

    Hailropes hustle and grind their

Heavengravel? wolfsnow, worlds of it, wind there?


Now Carisbrook keep goes under in gloom;

Now it overvaults Appledurcombe;

    Now near by Ventnor town

It hurls, hurls off Boniface Down.


Too proud, too proud, what a press she bore!

Royal, and all her royals wore.

    Sharp with her, shorten sail!

Too late; lost; gone with the gale.


This was that fell capsize,

As half she had righted and hoped to rise

    Death teeming in by her portholes

Raced down decks, round messes of mortals.


Then a lurch forward, frigate and men;

'All hands for themselves' the cry ran then;

    But she who had housed them thither

Was around them, bound them or wound them with her.


Marcus Hare, high her captain,

Kept to her—care-drowned and wrapped in

    Cheer's death, would follow

His charge through the champ-white water-in-a-wallow,


All under Channel to bury in a beach her

Cheeks: Right, rude of feature,

    He thought he heard say

'Her commander! and thou too, and thou this way.'


It is even seen, time's something server,

In mankind's medley a duty-swerver,

    At downright 'No or yes?'

Doffs all, drives full for righteousness.


Sydney Fletcher, Bristol-bred,

(Low lie his mates now on watery bed)

    Takes to the seas and snows

As sheer down the ship goes.


Now her afterdraught gullies him too down;

Now he wrings for breath with the deathgush brown;

    Till a lifebelt and God's will

Lend him a lift from the sea-swill.


Now he shoots short up to the round air;

Now he gasps, now he gazes everywhere;

    But his eye no cliff, no coast or

Mark makes in the rivelling snowstorm.


Him, after an hour of wintry waves,

A schooner sights, with another, and saves,

    And he boards her in Oh! such joy

He has lost count what came next, poor boy.—


They say who saw one sea-corpse cold

He was all of lovely manly mould,

    Every inch a tar,

Of the best we boast our sailors are.


Look, foot to forelock, how all things suit! he

Is strung by duty, is strained to beauty,

    And brown-as-dawning-skinned

With brine and shine and whirling wind.


O his nimble finger, his gnarled grip!

Leagues, leagues of seamanship

    Slumber in these forsaken

Bones, this sinew, and will not waken.


He was but one like thousands more,

Day and night I deplore

    My people and born own nation,

Fast foundering own generation.


I might let bygones be—our curse

Of ruinous shrine no hand or, worse,

    Robbery's hand is busy to

Dress, hoar-hallowèd shrines unvisited;


Only the breathing temple and fleet

Life, this wildworth blown so sweet,

    These daredeaths, ay this crew, in

Unchrist, all rolled in ruin—


Deeply surely I need to deplore it,

Wondering why my master bore it,

    The riving off that race

So at home, time was, to his truth and grace


That a starlight-wender of ours would say

The marvellous Milk was Walsingham Way

    And one—but let be, let be:

More, more than was will yet be.—


O well wept, mother have lost son;

Wept, wife; wept, sweetheart would be one:

    Though grief yield them no good

Yet shed what tears sad truelove should.


But to Christ lord of thunder

Crouch; lay knee by earth low under:

    'Holiest, loveliest, bravest,

Save my hero, O Hero savest.


And the prayer thou hearst me making

Have, at the awful overtaking,

    Heard; have heard and granted

Grace that day grace was wanted.'


Not that hell knows redeeming,

But for souls sunk in seeming

    Fresh, till doomfire burn all,

Prayer shall fetch pity eternal.


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