- Editor's Selection of Poems (Henry Purcell) by Gerard Manley Hopkins
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Editor's Selection of Poems
Henry Purcell

by Gerard Manley Hopkins

The poet wishes well to the divine genius of Purcell and praises him that,
 whereas other musicians have given utterance to the moods of man’s mind, he has, beyond that, 
uttered in notes the very make and species of man as created both in him and in all men generally.

Have, fair fallen, O fair, fair have fallen, so dear   
To me, so arch-especial a spirit as heaves in Henry Purcell,   
An age is now since passed, since parted; with the reversal   
Of the outward sentence low lays him, listed to a heresy, here.   
Not mood in him nor meaning, proud fire or sacred fear, 
Or love or pity or all that sweet notes not his might nursle:   
It is the forgèd feature finds me; it is the rehearsal   
Of own, of abrupt self there so thrusts on, so throngs the ear.   
Let him Oh! with his air of angels then lift me, lay me! only I’ll   
Have an eye to the sakes of him, quaint moonmarks, to his pelted plumage under  
Wings: so some great stormfowl, whenever he has walked his while   
The thunder-purple seabeach plumèd purple-of-thunder,   
If a wuthering of his palmy snow-pinions scatter a colossal smile   
Off him, but meaning motion fans fresh our wits with wonder. 

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