Gérard Manley Hopkins SJ
On this flaming day in June, with such beautiful pagan mountains rising all around, I felt your uncertain presence in this bastion of the Jesuits.
I listened, and you, doubtless, overheard, disquisitions concerning the nuts and bolts of your poetry
As your real presence crept slowly into my heart, I knew your journey of renunciation saw you washed up on many steep and rocky promontories,
Where love was spoken of, but never felt. No Greek love in your austere journeying, my friend. Who were the erastes or the eromenos of your dreams?
Did you visit the kybeia? Travel languidly from the port of Piraeus to Crete? Watch Sappho cavorting on the beach and wonder how your self-denying ordnance could please the risen Christ?
Were you only his long-lost sheep who must forever repent, repent, repent? Was it for this lifetime of barely acknowledged misery that your Saviour was created or sent?
To cancel Dolben’s drowning?
A weary pantheism sustained your passing epiphanies, cancelled your melancholic, empty inscape, showed you the truth in the passing beauties of Et in Arcadia ego
Where the low door in the wall leads you into an enchanted garden: not overlooked by guilt or loss or God.