LenTree For George Herbert

Day 17: Friday

Vanity (I)

        The fleet Astronomer can bore, And thread the spheres with his quick-piercing mind: He views their stations, walks from door to door,      Surveys, as if he had designed To make a purchase there: he sees their dances,           And knoweth long before Both their full-eyed aspects, and secret glances.            The nimble Diver with his side Cuts through the working waves, that he may fetch His dearly-earnéd pearl, which God did hide      On purpose from the vent'rous wretch: That he might save his life, and also hers,           Who with excessive pride Her own destruction and his danger wears.            The subtle Chemist can divest And strip the creature naked, till he find The callow principles within their nest:      There he imparts to them his mind, Admitted to their bed-chamber, before           They appear trim and dressed To ordinary suitors at the door.            What has not man sought out and found, But his dear God? who yet His glorious law Embosoms in us, mellowing the ground      With showers and frosts, with love & awe, So that we need not say, Where's this command?           Poor man, you search around To find out death, but miss your life at hand.

1633 Edition

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