You can read this poem at the Poetry Foundation, here.
You can’t have light without dark, fair without foul, sweet without sour: things are themselves only because of their opposites. One of those ideas that’s simple but not simplistic or easy to hang onto, particularly when you’re in one of the ‘slow… sour… [or] dim’ bits. And sometimes the ratio doesn’t feel quite how I’d want it.
You may not have a concept of God or, if you do, share Hopkins’. Certainly I can’t buy into the “man in the nightie in the sky” version I was fed at school. But the sense that there is something constant behind/inside/beyond all change; that a larger process is at work, in which we can participate: that makes sense to me (see the end of thing 33). I love the Hopkins’ outpouring of trust here, how he compresses so much into so few words, how it brims and bursts with his confidence that ‘all things… He fathers forth whose beauty is past change’. The simple, unavoidable result of that confidence is the (equally simple) final line: ‘Praise Him’. If that is equivalent to the sense of thankfulness and sheer gratitude I sometimes feel about the wonder of the world, then I can say that, too.