About this Poem 

“Binsey Poplars” was written by Hopkins in 1879 and published for the first time in Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins (Humphrey Milford, 1918).

Binsey Poplars

    felled 1879


My aspens dear, whose airy cages quelled,
   Quelled or quenched in leaves the leaping sun,
   All felled, felled, are all felled;
     Of a fresh and following folded rank
                Not spared, not one
                That dandled a sandalled
         Shadow that swam or sank
On meadow and river and wind-wandering weed-winding bank.

   O if we but knew what we do
          When we delve or hew—
     Hack and rack the growing green!
           Since country is so tender
     To touch, her being só slender,
     That, like this sleek and seeing ball
     But a prick will make no eye at all,
     Where we, even where we mean
                To mend her we end her,
           When we hew or delve:
After-comers cannot guess the beauty been.
   Ten or twelve, only ten or twelve
      Strokes of havoc únselve
           The sweet especial scene,
      Rural scene, a rural scene,
      Sweet especial rural scene.

This poem is in the public domain. 

This poem is in the public domain.