From Gerard Manley Hopkin’s journal:

May 12–One day when the bluebells were in bloom I wrote the following.  I do not think I have ever seen anything more beautiful than the bluebell I have been looking at.  I know the beauty of our Lord by it.  It[s inscape] is [mixed of] strength and grace, like an ash [tree].  The head is strongly drawn over [backwards] and arched down like a cutwater [drawing itself back from the line of the keel].  The lines of the bells strike and overlie this, rayed but not symmetrically, some lie parallel.  They look steely against [the] paper, the shades lying between the bells and behind the cockied petal-ends and  nursing up the precision of their distinctness, the petal-ends themselves being delicately lit.  Then there is the straightness of the trumpets in the bells softened by the slight entasis and [by] the square splay of the mouth.  One bell, the lowest, some way detached and carried on a longer foot-stalk, touched out with the tips of the petals an oval/not like the rest in a plane perpendicular to the axis of the bell but a little atilt, and so with [the] square-in rounding turns of the petals . . . . ” (Hopkins’ own brackets)

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