May 11, 2014

Poem: My Own Heart Let Me More Have Pity On

Let Me Live To My Sad Self Hereafter Kind

My Own Heart Let Me More Have Pity On is a sonnet by Fr. Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J. (1844–1889). Composed sometime during the last five years of his life; it was an especially difficult period for him in which he struggled with his new work assignment, failing health, and bouts of depression. My Own Heart Let Me More Have Pity On was first published in the posthumous collection: Poems (1918). It is included in the Poetry Appendix of the Liturgy of the Hours (1975).

MY OWN HEART LET ME HAVE MORE PITY ON by Gerard Manley Hopkins, 1918 (Public Domain)

My own heart let me have more have pity on; let
Me live to my sad self hereafter kind,
Charitable; not live this tormented mind
With this tormented mind tormenting yet.
     I cast for comfort I can no more get
By groping round my comfortless, than blind
Eyes in their dark can day or thirst can find
Thirst ’s all-in-all in all a world of wet.

Soul, self; come, poor Jackself, I do advise
You, jaded, let be; call off thoughts awhile
Elsewhere; leave comfort root-room; let joy size
At God knows when to God knows what; whose smile
’s not wrung, see you; unforeseen times rather—as skies
Betweenpie mountains—lights a lovely mile.

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