[The Temple Court]from The Temple (1633), by George Herbert:


¶   Dialogue.

SWeetest Saviour, if my soul
      Were but worth the having,
Quickly should I then controll
      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?

What (childe) is the ballance 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, onely he,
Who for man was sold, can see;
That transferr’d th’accounts to me.

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

That is all, if that I could
      Get without repining;
And my clay my creature would
     Follow my resigning.
That as I did freely part
With my glorie and desert,1
Left all joyes to feel all smart ----
      Ah! no more: thou break’st my heart.

1 desert. dessert; deserve by right. [Return]

The 1633 Edition does not specify who the speakers are.

1633 Poem Index George Herbert & The Temple Home Page