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The May Magnificat Analysis

Author: poem of Gerard Manley Hopkins Type: poem Views: 9

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May is Mary's month, and I

Muse at that and wonder why:

    Her feasts follow reason,

    Dated due to season—

Candlemas, Lady Day;

But the Lady Month, May,

    Why fasten that upon her,

    With a feasting in her honour?

Is it only its being brighter

Than the most are must delight her?

    Is it opportunest

    And flowers finds soonest?

Ask of her, the mighty mother:

Her reply puts this other

    Question: What is Spring?—

    Growth in every thing—

Flesh and fleece, fur and feather,

Grass and greenworld all together;

    Star-eyed strawberry-breasted

    Throstle above her nested

Cluster of bugle blue eggs thin

Forms and warms the life within;

    And bird and blossom swell

    In sod or sheath or shell.

All things rising, all things sizing

Mary sees, sympathising

    With that world of good,

    Nature's motherhood.

Their magnifying of each its kind

With delight calls to mind

    How she did in her stored

    Magnify the Lord.

Well but there was more than this:

Spring's universal bliss

    Much, had much to say

    To offering Mary May.

When drop-of-blood-and-foam-dapple

Bloom lights the orchard-apple

    And thicket and thorp are merry

    With silver-surfèd cherry

And azuring-over greybell makes

Wood banks and brakes wash wet like lakes

    And magic cuckoocall

    Caps, clears, and clinches all—

This ecstasy all through mothering earth

Tells Mary her mirth till Christ's birth

    To remember and exultation

    In God who was her salvation.


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