Many years ago our English teacher read this poem to us and in our ignorance we struggled with its meaning. At that time it meant little to me except that inexplicably some of the phrases planted themselves inside me and over the years I would catch myself whispering them to myself. And now I have found the image that matches my understanding of the words written by the Jesuit Priest, Gerard Manley Hopkins, who expresses the connection he felt for Christ through the metaphor of the falcon.
I caught this morning morning's minion, king-
dom of daylight's dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,
As a skate's heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding
Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird, – the achieve of, the mastery of the thing!
Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here
Buckle! and the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion
Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!
No wonder of it: sheer plod makes plough down sillion
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermilion.
Gerard Manley Hopkins