gerard manley hopkins
  Articles, Research, Presentations, Photographs, Links to TR, HT, Nature and Multiple Sclerosis  


Pied Beauty


Glory be to God for dappled things -

    For skies of couple-color as a brinded cow;

            For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;

Fresh fire-coal chestnut-falls; finches wings;

    Landscape plotted and pieced - fold, fallow, and plough;

        And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;

    Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)

        With swift, slow; sweet, sour; a-dazzle, dim;

He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:

                           Praise him.

 -Gerard Manley Hopkins  1877


a curtal sonnet: a curtailed or contracted sonnet. It refers specifically to a sonnet of 11 lines rhyming  abcabc dcbdc or abcabc dbcdc with the last line a tail, or half a line. The term was used by Gerard Manley Hopkins to describe the form that he used in such poems as "Pied Beauty" and "Peace." Curtal is now an obsolete word meaning "shortened."


brinded: dappled, pied (patchy in color; splotched or piebald(esp. black and white)

fresh fire-coal chestnut-falls: fallen chestnuts like firey coals

trim: in the archaic sense as ready for service or use

counter: not easily classified

spare: possibly in the sense of austere