The Caged Skylark

Original Text: 
The Later Poetic Manuscripts of Gerard Manley Hopkins in Facsimile, ed. Norman H. MacKenzie (New York and London: Garland Publishing, 1991): 129. PR 4803 H44A6 1991 Robarts Library
1As a dare-gale skylark scanted in a dull cage,
2    Man's mounting spirit in his bone-house, mean house, dwells --
3    That bird beyond the remembering hís free fells;
4This in drudgery, day-labouring-out life's age.
5Though aloft on turf or perch or poor low stage
6    Both sing sometímes the sweetest, sweetest spells,
7    Yet both droop deadly sómetimes in their cells
8Or wring their barriers in bursts of fear or rage.
9Not that the sweet-fowl, song-fowl, needs no rest --
10Why, hear him, hear him babble & drop down to his nest,
11    But his own nest, wild nest, no prison.
12Man's spirit will be flesh-bound, when found at best,
13But úncúmberèd: meadow-dówn is nót distréssed
14    For a ráinbow fóoting it nor hé for his bónes rísen.
Publication Start Year: 
1918
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1996-2000.
Rhyme: 
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