George Herbert.


289   Virtue

SWEET day, so cool, so calm, so bright!
    The bridal of the earth and sky—
The dew shall weep thy fall to-night;
           For thou must die.

Sweet rose, whose hue angry and brave
Bids the rash gazer wipe his eye,
Thy root is ever in its grave,
           And thou must die.

Sweet spring, full of sweet days and roses,
A box where sweets compacted lie,
My music shows ye have your closes,
           And all must die.

Only a sweet and virtuous soul,
Like season’d timber, never gives;
But though the whole world turn to coal,
           Then chiefly lives.

290   Easter

I GOT me flowers to straw Thy way,
   I got me boughs off many a tree;
But Thou wast up by break of day,
   And brought’st Thy sweets along with Thee.

Yet though my flowers be lost, they say
   A heart can never come too late;
Teach it to sing Thy praise this day,
   And then this day my life shall date.

291   Discipline

THROW away Thy rod,
Throw away Thy wrath:
            O my God,
Take the gentle path!

For my heart’s desire
Unto Thine is bent:
            I aspire
To a full consent.

Not a word or look
I affect to own,
           But by book,
And Thy Book alone.

Though I fail, I weep;
Though I halt in pace,
           Yet I creep
To the Throne of Grace.

Then let wrath remove;
Love will do the deed:
           For with Love
Stony hearts will bleed.

Love is swift of foot;
Love’s a man of war,
           And can shoot,
And can hit from far.

Who can ’scape his bow?
That which wrought on Thee,
           Brought Thee low,
Needs must work on me.

Throw away Thy rod;
Though man frailties hath,
           Thou art God:
Throw away Thy wrath!

292   A Dialogue

       Man.   SWEETEST Saviour, if my soul
                     Were but worth the having,
                  Quickly should I then control
                  Any thought of waving.
                  But when all my care and pains
                  Cannot give the name of gains
                  To Thy wretch so full of stains,
                  What delight or hope remains?

  Saviour.   What, child, is the balance thine,
                       Thine the poise and measure?
                  If I say, ‘Thou shalt be Mine,’
                  Finger not My treasure.
                  What the gains in having thee
                  Do amount to, only He
                  Who for man was sold can see
                  That transferr’d th’ accounts to Me.

        Man.   But as I can see no merit
                      Leading to this favour,
                  So the way to fit me for it
                  Is beyond my savour.1
                 As the reason, then, is Thine,
                 So the way is none of mine;
                  I disclaim the whole design;
                  Sin disclaims and I resign.

  Saviour.   That

  By PanEris using Melati.

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