Leighton, Kenneth: God’s grandeur

God’s Grandeur (1959)

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 bears 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 from the black west went,
Oh, morning at the brown brink eastwards, springs –
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast, and with, ah, bright wings.

Words: Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844–89)
Music: Kenneth Leighton (1929–88)