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Hunt, Our English Coasts, 1852 (‘Strayed Sheep’) (1852, Tate)

In 1864, Gerard Manley Hopkins wrote a moral interpretation of Hunt’s Our English Coasts, 1852 (‘Strayed Sheep’) (1852, Tate) painting:

Glimmer’d along the square-cut steep.
They chew’d the cud in hollows deep;
Their cheeks moved and the bones therein.
The lawless honey eaten of old
Has lost its savour and is roll’d
Into the bitterness of sin.
What would befal the godless flock
Appear’d not for the present, till
A thread of light betray’d the hill
Which with its lined and creased flank
The outgoings of the vale does block.
Death’s bones fell in with sudden clank
As wrecks of minèd embers will.
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