Tuesday, September 28, 2010

George Herbert (1593-1633)

The Altar, from The Temple

A broken ALTAR, Lord, thy servant rears,
Made of a heart, and cemented with tears:
   Whose parts are as thy hand did frame;
   No workman's tool hath touched the same.

         A HEART alone
         Is such a stone,
         As nothing but
         Thy pow'r doth cut.
         Wherefore each part
         Of my hard heart
         Meets in this frame,
         To praise thy name.

   That if I chance to hold my peace,
   These stones to praise thee may not cease.
O let thy blessed SACRIFICE be mine,
And sanctify this ALTAR to be thine.

Easter Wings
by George Herbert

Lord, Who createdst man in wealth and store,
Though foolishly he lost the same,
Decaying more and more,
Till he became
Most poore:
With Thee
O let me rise,
As larks, harmoniously,
And sing this day Thy victories:
Then shall the fall further the flight in me.

My tender age in sorrow did beginne;
And still with sicknesses and shame
Thou didst so punish sinne,
That I became
Most thinne.
With Thee
Let me combine,
And feel this day Thy victorie;
For, if I imp my wing on Thine,
Affliction shall advance the flight in me.

by George Herbert

Love bade me welcome, yet my soul drew back,
         Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-ey'd Love, observing me grow slack
         From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
         If I lack'd anything.

"A guest," I answer'd, "worthy to be here";
         Love said, "You shall be he."
"I, the unkind, the ungrateful? ah my dear,
         I cannot look on thee."
Love took my hand and smiling did reply,
         "Who made the eyes but I?"

"Truth, Lord, but I have marr'd them; let my shame
         Go where it doth deserve."
"And know you not," says Love, "who bore the blame?"
         "My dear, then I will serve."
"You must sit down," says Love, "and taste my meat."
         So I did sit and eat.

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