Who Is God the Father?

Pied Beauty

This poem is my favorite description of the wonders of God. The language is difficult, but its portrait of God, the eternal, unchangeable One, as creator of all changing, beautiful things is a wonderful paradox.


Glory be to God for dappled things
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced--fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.


All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise him.
- Gerard Manley Hopkins

pied: of different colors

dappled: made up of cloudy, rounded patches of different shades of the same color

couple-colored: two-colored

brinded: having dark streaks or flecks

rose-moles: rose-colored spots

stipple: a painting technique which uses the ends of the brush bristles to make dots

fresh fire-coal chestnut falls: the brightness of new chestnuts when they fall from the trees, looking as though they are lit with fire from within

fold: pasture land, or a paddock or corral where animals are penned up

fallow: land left to rest every seven years, covered with grass and wildflowers

plow: plowed cropland, with crops of wheat or oats

counter: opposite, as in counterclockwise

fickle: erratically changeable

adazzle: shining brilliantly

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