Gerard Manley Hopkins Poems In Musical Adaptations
Gerard Manley Hopkins Poems In Musical Adaptations


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The Alchemist
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Precious cargo is a man, a man a precious poet, priest
A poet-priest, a convert, a candle, a gain
Who was hooked then plucked out of the dreaming spired flame
Who was battered, broken, unseen and unspoken and unsung
But like alchemists birth in the maw of mans earth
A river is opened and sprung

His hidden apprenticeship in Christ's sorcery
To take the base things of the earth and invest then with dignity
The name Jesuit has been baptised by guile and vile and spit
Yet many martyrs, saints and kind, they shall recover it

In Liverpool, port and school
And blessed Ireland's, island green mess
He did serve and obey rule, while tossed and torn depressed
He did not move, or seek to ask or grasp any man-thing
But inwards prove the many mansioned form
God's harbour in storm and fling.

Mans cargo and ore: Precious core of man
Is storm flung, sunken boat
Tainted history: mans misery records disorder and bloat
Here come God's wreckers and ravage red: angels of salvage who fly to the bed of the sea and saw the see of God's sleeping lovers

We too must dive after sin, not to taste but to win
To win back our star from the hold of our Oedipus wrecks
For we are fallen and far, from I am to we are
From Ruth (which is truths context)
Proud servant of three crowned snake
The will and the power the black-bleeding flower
Was feeble, was fallen, was fake

Oremus: Let us pray
For laughter and angels and signs and wonders
For dreaming old men and wonder-struck youth
And virgins who prophesy, lighting and thunder
And beaded wood poetry, Marian truth
Dominus Vobiscum: Heavens secret liaison
Kierie, Kierie, Christe Eleison
Kierie, Kierie, Christe Eleison
Kierie, Kierie, Christe Eleison

Precious man. Dry and dusty of England's bones
Which even now turn to cloud or powder on their own
Thank you Father. Mary-breathing. Manly in grace
For seeing through words to the stress and the feeling
And the bless and the healing space

© Sean O'Leary 2005-2020
The Alchemist
A poem to music by Sean O'Leary about Gerard Manley Hopkins