Friday, October 20, 2006

The Eagles Are Coming

So screamed Bilbo at the end of the Hobbit during the battle of the Five Armies.

I'd never seen an eagle in my life before and then last week on Vancouver Island I saw 2 . Different days, different beaches, different sides fo the island but equally stunning. The second time the eagle circled round a few times before settling on a tree just behind us. The Elvish Princess and I stopped our picnic and looked in awe - it was so close we could hear the beating of his wings. If i was a poet I would write a verse but even now I just find myself filled with silent awe at the beauty. Luckily Gerard Manley Hopkins had a smiliar experience a century and a continent apart from mine but his words on seeing a falcon flying one morning are still beautiful and i offer them to you.


The Windhover
I caught this morning morning's minion, king-
dom of daylight's dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,
As a skate's heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding
Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird, - the achieve of, the mastery of the thing!

Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here
Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion
Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!

No wonder of it: sheer plod makes plough down sillion
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermilion.

-- Gerard Manley Hopkins


Jonny said...

ty for that little dose of hopkins

(just stoppin by to say hi)

mister tumnus said...

'the hurl and gliding rubuffed the big wind'. that is a really nice line.

i can't say i am a massive fan of his stuff but he does have the odd genius line.

The Father said...

yep -shirley i think i endured him more than enjoyed him while at school but i've come to appreciate him a bit more since. Thanks for stopping by and also jonny ... some nice art on your blog ... i will add a link to both your sites once I actually work out how to do such a thing .

mister tumnus said...

when you work it out maybe you can explain it to me! this from the grauniad yesterday:,,1927959,00.html

mister tumnus said...

let me know if you didn't get that and i'll cut and paste the artcile 4 u.