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    Gerard Manley Hopkins - The Bugler's First Communion

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    Gerard Manley Hopkins - The Bugler's First Communion - Read by Jeremy Northam

    The Bugler's First Communion
    by Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)

    A Bugler boy from barrack (it is over the hill
    There)—boy bugler, born, he tells me, of Irish
    Mother to an English sire (he
    Shares their best gifts surely, fall how things will),

    This very very day came down to us after a boon he on
    My late being there begged of me, overflowing
    Boon in my bestowing,
    Came, I say, this day to it—to a First Communion.

    Here he knelt then ín regimental red.
    Forth Christ from cupboard fetched, how fain I of feet
    To his youngster take his treat!
    Low-latched in leaf-light housel his too huge godhead.

    There! and your sweetest sendings, ah divine,
    By it, heavens, befall him! as a heart Christ's darling, dauntless;
    Tongue true, vaunt- and tauntless;
    Breathing bloom of a chastity in mansex fine.

    Frowning and forefending angel-warder
    Squander the hell-rook ranks sally to molest him;
    March, kind comrade, abreast him;
    Dress his days to a dexterous and starlight order.

    How it dóes my heart good, visiting at that bleak hill,
    When limber liquid youth, that to all I teach
    Yields tender as a pushed peach,
    Hies headstrong to its wellbeing of a self-wise self-will!

    Then though I should tread tufts of consolation
    Dáys áfter, só I in a sort deserve to
    And do serve God to serve to
    Just such slips of soldiery Christ's royal ration.

    Nothing élse is like it, no, not all so strains
    Us: fresh youth fretted in a bloomfall all portending
    That sweet's sweeter ending;
    Realm both Christ is heir to and thére réigns.

    O now well work that sealing sacred ointment!
    O for now charms, arms, what bans off bad
    And locks love ever in a lad!
    Let mé though see no more of him, and not disappointment

    Those sweet hopes quell whose least me quickenings lift,
    In scarlet or somewhere of some day seeing
    That brow and bead of being,
    An our day's God's own Galahad. Though this child's drift

    Seems by a divíne doom chánnelled, nor do I cry
    Disaster there; but may he not rankle and roam
    In backwheels though bound home?—
    That left to the Lord of the Eucharist, I here lie by;

    Recorded only, I have put my lips on pleas
    Would brandle adamantine heaven with ride and jar, did
    Prayer go disregarded:
    Forward-like, but however, and like favourable heaven heard these.