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Spring and Fall: To a Young Child, by Gerard Manley Hopkins

January 18, 1998

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 is the blight man was born for,

It is Margaret you mourn for.

From "Committed To Memory: 100 Best Poems To Memorize," edited by John Hollander (Riverhead Books: 196 pp., $12 paper). Copyright 1997 The Academy of American Poets

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