Natalie Merchant's new song HERE
Spring and Fall: to a Young Child
Margaret, are you grieving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leaves, like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! as the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you will weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sorrow's springs are the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What héart héard of, ghóst guéssed:
It is the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.
- Gerard Manley Hopkins
“Goldengrove,” - a child's play-world - is “unleaving,” or losing its leaves as winter approaches. Age will change her innocent response to loss, and that later whole “worlds” of forest will lie in leafless disarray (“leafmeal,” like “piecemeal”). Margaret will weep later, but for a more conscious reason - Margaret is already mourning over her own mortality.