This final poem is based on Spring and Fall by Gerard Manley Hopkins, which appears below.
“to a pensioner”
Margaret, are you celebrating
that the bushveld’s heart’s awakening?
Grasslands, like some angel’s gift, your
old bones must cast off, can’t you?
Ah! As your thoughts grow longer
And reminiscence warmer, stronger
Every day, you’d like to cry
For each new shoot of grass you spy;
Yet you can’t weep, and don’t know why.
Now it matters what it’s called
How else could you tell the world:
All the joy that you have had
All you’ve done, the good, the bad.
It’s their happiness you’ll die for,
Your children’s children that you smile for.
” to a young child”
Margaret, are you grieving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leaves, like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! as the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie’
And yet you will weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sorrow’s springs are the same,
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It is the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.