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‘Felix Randal’ by Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844–1889)

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With comment by John Birtwhistle

Felix Randal the farrier, O he is dead then? my duty all ended,

Who have watched his mould of man, big-boned and hardy-handsome

Pining, pining, till time when reason rambled in it and some

Fatal four disorders, fleshed there, all contended?

Sickness broke him. Impatient he cursed at first, but mended

Being anointed and all; though a heavenlier heart began some

Months earlier, since I had our sweet reprieve and ransom

Tendered to him. Ah well, God rest him all road ever he offended!

This seeing the sick endears them to us, us too it endears.

My tongue had taught thee comfort, …

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