Spring and Fall, by Gerard Manley Hopkins 1844-1889
Hopkins imagines a child, in the springtime of her life, sad at the sight of trees “unleaving” in fall. The source-spring of the sorrow she feels, but cannot name at her age, is the passing of time.
Spring and Fall
to a young child
Margaret, are you grieving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leaves, like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! as the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you will weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sorrow’s springs are the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It ís the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.