Spring and Fall: to a young child
Márgáret, áre you grieving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leáves, líke the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Áh! ás 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 wíll weep and know why,
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sórrow’s spríngs áre 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.
- a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins
I first encountered this poem while memorizing the script for Immortal Diamond, a play on the life of Jesuit priest and poet, Gerard Manley Hopkins.
The poem talks about the inevitable loss of our own innocence as we grow up and understand more about ourselves and the world. It talks about the realization of our own mortality; that like the leaves in autumn, we too will die.
As a child we experience and understand more than what we can articulate.