Favorite Poems by George Herbert (1593-1633)

“Our Life is hid with Christ in God.”

MY words and thoughts do both express this notion,
That LIFE hath with the sun a double motion.
The first IS straight, and our diurnal friend:
The other HID, and doth obliquely bend.
One life is wrapt IN flesh, and tends to earth;
The other winds t’wards HIM whose happy birth
Taught me to live here so THAT still one eye
Should aim and shoot at that which IS on high—
Quitting with daily labour all MY pleasure,
To gain at harvest an eternal TREASURE.

The Altar

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.
Oh let  thy  blessed  SACRIFICE  be mine,
And  sanctify  this  ALTAR  to  be  thine.

Easter Wings

Lord, who createdst man in wealth and store,
Though foolishly he lost the same,
Decaying more and more
Till he became
Most poor:

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  begin:
And still with sicknesses and shame
Thou didst so punish sin,
That I became
Most thin.

With Thee
Let me combine,
And feel this day thy victory;
For, if I imp my wing on thine,
Affliction shall advance the flight in me.

Find more poems by George Herbert at this George Herbert & The Temple site.

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