Michael Swan: Gerard Manley Hopkins Has A Night Out

Thou setting them up, stilling, slaking first thirst,
Only to kindle a second, vixen-maid; thou alluring,
Luring eyes to canyon of cleavage, calling me
Like falcon to stoop, to step over stool, over bar,
That barrier! – to fall into bliss beyond bearing.
Thou refusing to serve me, recking not my voice, alas!
Though raised high above hubbub of bánter and béer-bráwl.
Thou scornful as, oh, mournful, I weep
For the woes of the world all unreckoning; thou
Beckoning bouncer, hinting, hurtful, at skinful.
But the rush, then, ah, the night air, the rain
And the glory of simple things: blood, boot on bone!
What stars you see, skull, worlds you whirl,
As teeth flash to flesh; fist hurtles to face;
As body descends, sated, to pavement’s embrace.