[The Temple, Detail of Model]from The Temple (1633), by George Herbert:


¶    The World.

LOve built a stately house; where Fortune came,
And spinning phansies, she was heard to say,
That her fine cobwebs did support the frame,
Whereas they were supported by the same:
But Wisdome quickly swept them all away.

Then Pleasure came, who, liking not the fashion,
Began to make Balcones, Terraces,
Till she had weakned all by alteration:
But rev’rend laws, and many a proclamation
Reformed all at length with menaces.

Then enter’d Sinne, and with that Sycomore,
Whose leaves first sheltred man from drought & dew,
Working and winding slily evermore,
The inward walls and sommers1 cleft and tore:
But Grace shor’d these, and cut that as it grew.

Then Sinne combin’d with Death in a firm band
To raze the building to the very floore:
Which they effected, none could them withstand.
But Love and Grace took Glorie by the hand,
And built a braver Palace then before.

1 sommers. main, supporting beams. [Return]

On Allegory in the poem: A Comparison of George Herbert and John Bunyan by Rebecca Branham Dimon

Modern version
1633 Poem Index George Herbert & The Temple Home Page