‘Thou art indeed just, Lord, if I contend’, by Gerard Manley Hopkins

By Ji-Elle (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Ji-Elle (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Justus quidem tu es, Domine, si disputem tecum; verumtamen
justa loquar ad te: Quare via impiorum prosperatur? &c.

Thou art indeed just, Lord, if I contend
With thee; but, sir, so what I plead is just.
Why do sinners’ ways prosper? and why must
Disappointment all I endeavour end?
    Wert thou my enemy, O thou my friend,
How wouldst thou worse, I wonder, than thou dost
Defeat, thwart me? Oh, the sots and thralls of lust
Do in spare hours more thrive than I that spend,
Sir, life upon thy cause. See, banks and brakes
Now, leavèd how thick! lacèd they are again
With fretty chervil, look, and fresh wind shakes
Them; birds build – but not I build; no, but strain,
Time’s eunuch, and not breed one work that wakes.
Mine, O thou lord of life, send my roots rain.


  1. I love that poem. I think that last line fairly frequently.

    Due to recent eye surgery, I have to look down all the time for a few days. In order that I may do my work without looking up, my monitor is lying flat on its back on my desk, and this is working fairly well, but, of course, it’s not ideal. Because of the angle at which I see the screen, most things are a different color than usual. The above picture is pretty amazing. the sky is pretty much the same blue, the rocks are on fire.


    • Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says

      Janet, swift healing to your eyes through Saints Raphael and Lucy!

      Thank you for sharing the detail about the unexpected, accidental benefit of viewing your monitor at its strange angle. He truly does father-forth Whose beauty is past change.

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