mourning · Poetry

The Last Word on Mourning

Spring and Fall: To a Young Child

Gerard Manley Hopkins

Margaret, are you grieving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leaves, like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! as the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you wíll weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sorrow’s springs are the same.
Nor mouth had, nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed
It is the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.

2 thoughts on “The Last Word on Mourning

  1. Thank you for posting one of my favorite poems! I was introduced to this work during my college Freshman year course Introduction to Literature, and it comes to mind whenever I walk amongst falling leaves. “It is Margaret you mourn for.” The human condition.

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    1. I love it too and am grateful for an education that helped stock my mind with poetry that can be recalled during appropriate moments like walking among falling leaves. I would like to know what poetry, if any, college freshmen are learning today.

      Like

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