This setting of a sonnet by the innovative religious poet Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889) was first performed in 1993 at Episcopal Church of the Incarnation in Bloomingdale, Illinois.


FVM 1007God's Grandeur (SATB & piano or organ)
 Duration: 2:30 minutes
  Text: Gerard Manley Hopkins
 Music: Francis L. Lynch © 1993
 View Sample Page | Listen


Text: Hopkins wrote this sonnet in 1877.

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs—
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.