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


¶   H. Baptisme. (I)

AS he that sees a dark and shadie grove,
        Stays not, but looks beyond it on the skie;
        So when I view my sinnes, mine eyes remove
More backward still, and to that water flie,

Which is above the heav’ns, whose spring and vent
        Is in my deare Redeemers pierced side.
        O blessed streams! either ye do prevent
And stop our sinnes from growing thick and wide,

Or else give tears to drown them, as they grow.
        In you Redemption measures all my time,
        And spreads the plaister equall to the crime.
You taught the Book of Life my name, that so

        What ever future sinnes should me miscall,
        Your first acquaintance might discredit all.

Modern version

George Herbert at Bemerton

Editor’s note: In the 1633 edition, both Baptism poems are on the same page with titles and horizontal rule, without numbering.

Note on Sonnet form and organization.


1633 Poem Index George Herbert & The Temple Home Page