Hopkins is not writing a love sonnet. He is complaining, and the clue is the vulgate, which is the beginning of Jeremiah 12.
Righteous are you, O Lord,
when I complain to you;
yet I would plead my case before you.
Why does the way of the wicked prosper?
Why do all who are treacherous thrive?
You plant them, and they take root;
they grow and produce fruit;
you are near in their mouth
and far from their heart.
Jeremiah 12:1-2, ESV
Hopkins saw many people getting rich from the industrial revulution or the rents of Ireland. As a Papist, he was not accepted into the very Anglican papal heirarchy. Those who conform to the spirit of this age this age will prosper.
Hopkins did not. However, he still remembered is.
Justus quidem tu es, Domine, si disputem tecum; verumtamen
justa loquar ad te: Quare via impiorum prosperatur? &c.
Thou art indeed just, Lord, if I contend
With thee; but, sir, so what I plead is just.
Why do sinners’ ways prosper? and why must
Disappointment all I endeavour end?
Wert thou my enemy, O thou my friend,
How wouldst thou worse, I wonder, than thou dost
Defeat, thwart me? Oh, the sots and thralls of lust
Do in spare hours more thrive than I that spend,
Sir, life upon thy cause. See, banks and brakes
Now, leavèd how thick! lacèd they are again
With fretty chervil, look, and fresh wind shakes
Them; birds build – but not I build; no, but strain,
Time’s eunuch, and not breed one work that wakes.
Mine, O thou lord of life, send my roots rain.
Gerard Manley Hopkins
This morning in church we had a bit of testimony. In 2014 a young man was sent to Dunedin to plant a church and he was told that Dunedin is the graveyard of churches. It is not.
For where there is obedience and two or three, there Christ is. Even if one is a Papist the second a Pentecostal, and the third reformed.
There is always a remnant. Hopkins prayed for revival over prosperity. So should we.