The Prince of Wales has recorded verse by acclaimed poet and Catholic priest Gerard Manley Hopkins to show support for Christians at Easter, Clarence House has said.
Charles has narrated the Hopkins poem God’s Grandeur which will be played during a virtual service on Sunday morning at Stonyhurst College, a Catholic boarding school in Lancashire where the Victorian cleric taught.
Clarence House said: “The Prince of Wales has recorded the Gerard Manley Hopkins Poem, God’s Grandeur, to show support for Christians around the world at Easter.
“Easter is the most important festival of the Christian Church, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his crucifixion, and Hopkins’s poem captures the hope and joy associated with that season.”
The poem begins with the lines: “The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
“It will flame out, like shining from shook foil; It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil Crushed.”
Hopkins was one of the most influential poets of the Victorian era who converted to Catholicism but gave up writing poetry after deciding to train to become a priest.
Some years later he took up his pen again when inspired to write a long poem in memory of five nuns who died in a shipwreck.
His poems were not published in full until 1918, almost 30 years after his death, and Hopkins’ use of language, new rhythmic effects and unusual word combinations were a huge influence on major literary figures like WH Auden and Dylan Thomas.