The Wreck of the Deutschland: Stanza 10 - Summary

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      Hopkins compares God to a blacksmith and poet says that God must use His power to compel those defying and rebellious people in order to bring them to the right path. As the blacksmith uses a hammer to strike the iron so also God can bring about a change in the nature of man. Or else, God should use other methods of molding as the spring works out its magic silently and invisibly and its magical power is reflected in the budding of flowers and leaves. Hopkins here gives instances of St. Paul and St. Augustine who were suddenly changed from atheists to the devout worshipper. The poet wants God to be simultaneously master and merciful which means that he must be adored and venerated as the Supreme Commander and Ruler of the universe.

Line by Line Analysis

Lines 1-2 With an anvil-ding / And with fire in him forge thy will: The poet compares God to a blacksmith and wants Him to use anvil-ding and fire to compel the rebellious man to come to the right path. In other words, poet wants Him to use His power to correct and chasten the revolting persons. The poet wants God to strike the iron when it is too hot.

Lines 3-4: Or rather, rather then, stealing as Spring / Through him, melt him but master him still: Then poet suggests God another method of correcting and disciplining people. He says that God should adopt the gentler method of use rather than harsh methods. Like a spring God’s effect works silently when spring appears, buds bloom into flowers. So also God can establish His supremacy.

Line 5: Whether at once, as once at a crash Paul: St. Paul was converted suddenly though he was an atheist. A strong believer of the Jewish faith, St. Paul at one time was the persecutor of the Christians. But Christ’s vision had metamorphosed him and he became one of the devout preacher of Christ’s message.

Line 6: Or as Austin a lingering and sweet chill: St. Austin’s conversion was a gradual apd slow process.

Line 7-8: Make mercy in all of us, out of us all / Mastery, but be adored, but be adored King: The poet here wants two different kinds of actions from the God. God should be merciful and at the same time He should establish His. mastery over all the creatures of the world. He should be worshipped like a king.

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