Quotation by Gerard Manley Hopkins

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 so 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.
Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844–1889), British poet, Jesuit priest. Binsey Poplars, st. 2 (written 1879), published in Poems (1918).
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