LenTree For George Herbert

The Altar

A   broken  Altar,   Lord,  your  servant  rears,

Made   of   a   heart,  and  cemented  with  tears:

Whose parts are as your hand did frame;

No workman's tool has touched the same.

A   Heart    alone

Is   such   a   stone ,

As     nothing     but

Your power does cut.

Wherefore each part

Of  my   hard  heart

Meets in this frame,

To praise your Name;

That,   if   I   chance   to   hold   my  peace,

These stones to praise you may not cease.

O   let  your  blessed  S a c r i f i c e   be  mine,

And    sanctify     this   A l t a r    to    be   thine.

          These poems from The Temple are arranged for daily Lenten reading.

 Apologia Academica:         Words have been "regularized" or standardized for modern readers. "Beeleve" has been changed to "believe." "Doore" etc. have been spelled "door" etc. Apostrophes have been added: "mens" becomes "men's." Quotation marks have been added to indicate conversation. Capitals have been added to indicate the Deity, such as His, You. "Chang'd" is changed to "Changed" because we pronounce it as one syllable. "Changed," which was pronounced as two syllables in George Herbert's time, becomes "Changéd." "Then" may also be "than" in some cases. "Hath" and "doth" have been changed into "has" and "does" when the familiarity of the poetic situation allows. Wouldst, etc., have been transcribed as "would," etc. "Thy," "Thee," "Thine" and "Thou" have been retained in a few cases, when speaking to God or to retain the rhyme. When God speaks to the poet or man in general, the "Thee" etc. have a loving condescension that was retained for this edition (even if Herbert did not intend this attitude in the original). A few words have been replaced, e.g. "spittle" was changed to "hospice;" "sommers" to "main-beams." [physic: med'cine; object: reveal; plaster: ointment]

To read the 1633 version of the poem click on:

          This modernization will offend some [apologies; go to 1633 version with frames; without frames.] and will speak to others [enjoy].

Poem for Shrove Tuesday

Poem for Ash Wednesday

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George Herbert Thought for Today

To Read the Poems in 1633 Order George Herbert & The Temple Home Page