“Pied Beauty” first comes to mind when one hears ‘dapple’. The other thing that comes to mind is the Appaloosa pony, which may make a poem sometime, but first things first.
One does not need to love or even know or even think God to love Hopkins. Nor if a believer, one does not need to be Catholic. And there is wonder in what is not in the poem of a man who looked heavenward with such passion–the very dapple of dark–the night sky. It’s not here! What is so easy to love about Gerard Manley Hopkins’s poetry is how rich it is of earth and earthly things. He elevates the soil of this living to the pure planes of spirituality.
The aural cover of this poem presented in this link to the Poetry Foundation offering of “Pied Beauty” is not the best, certainly seems not to capture the passion of Hopkins. Too careful.