This week, I’m posting some of my settings of Gerald Manley Hopkins’ poems. I’ve always been a fan since T.S. Eliot recommended him to me. I think we should also encourage parents to bring back “Manley” as a middle name, but we should spell it “manly”. We could have Wolfgang Manly Puck or Mike Manly Judge. The first song in the set is called Inversnaid and is about a waterfall in Scotland. I especially adore the text, “Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet”. The full text is below the video which has a picture of the Inversnaid Falls at Loch Lomond. The soprano is the fabulous Eugenia Garrity singing at a regional CMS convention. You can check out her website here. She’s amazing.

THIS darksome burn, horseback brown,
His rollrock highroad roaring down,
In coop and in comb the fleece of his foam
Flutes and low to the lake falls home.
A windpuff-bonnet of fáwn-fróth 5
Turns and twindles over the broth
Of a pool so pitchblack, féll-frówning,
It rounds and rounds Despair to drowning.
Degged with dew, dappled with dew
Are the groins of the braes that the brook treads through, 10
Wiry heathpacks, flitches of fern,
And the beadbonny ash that sits over the burn.
What would the world be, once bereft
Of wet and of wildness? Let them be left,
O let them be left, wildness and wet; 15
Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.