Manalive!

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Location: Hattiesburg, Mississippi, United States
St. Cuthbert and Disciples in a Boat

21.2.05

A Strain of the Earth’s Sweet Being in the Beginning


The past few weeks have seen a gradual warming- with a crescendo today of the mercury hovering around eighty degrees this afternoon. In response, the earth is awakening from its slumber, which in South Mississippi isn't terribly long. The daffodils- the one above grows near Rowan Oaks in Oxford (William Faulkner's house)- are bursting up all about. The trees are budding out, and some are blooming. The Japanese magnolias are in full tilt, and the azaleas are gathering steam. Driving with the windows down in the moonlight night is sheer pleasure, with the tree-frogs and insects shattering winter's silence, and that scent of spring, of growing things, of fresh earth, lilting through. Doesn't get much better this side of Paradise.

Spring, by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Nothing is so beautiful as spring—
When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.

What is all this juice and all this joy?
A strain of the earth’s sweet being in the beginning
In Eden garden.—Have, get, before it cloy,
Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,
Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,
Most, O maid’s child, thy choice and worthy the winning.

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