About Charlotte Deadman: This website highlights a selection of Charlotte's original writing - short fiction, reviews, essays and an occasional journal. She lives with her husband, William, in a village on the edge of Dartmoor. Charlotte is a third-year PhD student at the University of Exeter.
Poem of the Week
Gerard Manley Hopkins: The Leaden Echo and the Golden Echo (1882) (Maidens’ song from St. Winefred’s Well) The Leaden Echo
How to keep–is there ány any, is there none such, nowhere known some, bow or brooch or braid or brace, láce, latch or catch or key to keep Back beauty, keep it, beauty, beauty, beauty, . . . from vanishing away?
Ó is there no frowning of these wrinkles, rankèd wrinkles deep, Dówn? no waving off of these most mournful messengers, still messengers, sad and stealing messengers of grey? No there’s none, there’s none, O no there’s none, Nor can you long be, what you now are, called fair, Do what you may do, what, do what you may, And wisdom is early to despair: Be beginning; since, no, nothing can be done To keep at bay Age and age’s evils, hoar hair, Ruck and wrinkle, drooping, dying, death’s worst, winding sheets, tombs and worms and tumbling to decay; So be beginning, be beginning to despair. O there’s none; no no no there’s none: Be beginning to despair, to despair, Despair, despair, despair, despair.
The Golden Echo
Spare! There is one, yes I have one (Hush there!); Only not within seeing of the sun, Not within the singeing of the strong sun, Tall sun’s tingeing, or treacherous the tainting of the earth’s air. Somewhere elsewhere there is ah well where! one, Óne. Yes I can tell such a key, I do know such a place, Where whatever’s prized and passes of us, everything that’s fresh and fast flying of us, seems to us sweet of us and swiftly away with, done away with, undone, Undone, done with, soon done with, and yet dearly and dangerously sweet Of us, the wimpled-water-dimpled, not-by-morning-matchèd face, The flower of beauty, fleece of beauty, too too apt to, ah! to fleet, Never fleets more, fastened with the tenderest truth To its own best being and its loveliness of youth: it is an ever- lastingness of, O it is an all youth! Come then, your ways and airs and looks, locks, maiden gear, gallantry and gaiety and grace, Winning ways, airs innocent, maiden manners, sweet looks, loose locks, long locks, lovelocks, gaygear, going gallant, girlgrace– Resign them, sign them, seal them, send them, motion them with breath, And with sighs soaring, soaring síghs deliver Them; beauty-in-the-ghost, deliver it, early now, long before death Give beauty back, beauty, beauty, beauty, back to God, beauty’s self and beauty’s giver. See; not a hair is, not an eyelash, not the least lash lost; every hair Is, hair of the head, numbered. Nay, what we had lighthanded left in surly the mere mould Will have waked and have waxed and have walked with the wind what while we slept, This side, that side hurling a heavyheaded hundredfold What while we, while we slumbered. O then, weary then whý should we tread? O why are we so haggard at the heart, so care-coiled, care-killed, so fagged, so fashed, so cogged, so cumbered, When the thing we freely fórfeit is kept with fonder a care, Fonder a care kept than we could have kept it, kept Far with fonder a care (and we, we should have lost it) finer, fonder A care kept. Where kept? Do but tell us where kept, where.– Yonder.–What high as that! We follow, now we follow.– Yonder, yes yonder, yonder, Yonder.