Only God Knows Dove from Spoon, Man a Hawk from a Handsaw

“I am but mad North North west; when the wind is Southerly, I know a hawk, from a hand saw.”

(Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2)

 

Only God sees and knows dove from spoon,

can feign the smoothness of heaven,

let the mind see hawk and handsaw

open in the wide shed behind the house,

not the falconer’s falling glove

and the hand severed from the bird’s wings. 

 

For thoughts are to the manner born

and God knows the risk of our reach.

He feeds both dove and hawk

while the saw is being oiled. 

The cut finger howls His name

and cannot fly or make wings.

 

Line 7 references:

Hamlet, Act 1, scene 4: “But to my mind, though I am native here / And to the manner born, it is a custom / More honour’d in the breach than the observance.”