¶ Sighs and Grones.
O Do not use me After my sinnes! look not on my desert, But on thy glorie! Then thou wilt reform And not refuse me: for thou onely art The mightie God, but I a sillie worm; O do not bruise me! O do not urge me! For what account can thy ill steward make? I have abusd thy stock, destroyd thy woods, Suckt all thy magazens:1 my head did ake, Till it found out how to consume thy goods: O do not scourge me! O do not blinde me! I have deservd that an Egyptian night Should thicken all my powers; because my lust Hath still sowd fig-leaves to exclude thy light: But I am frailtie, and already dust; O do not grinde me! O do not fill me With the turnd viall of thy bitter wrath! For thou hast other vessels full of bloud, A part whereof my Saviour emptid hath, Evn unto death: since he did for my good, O do not kill me! But O reprieve me! For thou hast life and death at thy command; Thou art both Judge and Saviour, feast and rod, Cordiall and Corrosive: put not thy hand Into the bitter box; but O my God, My God, relieve me!
1 magazens. storehouses. [Return]
Criticism: "Unstrung Conversations: Herbert's Negotiations with God" by Susannah B. Mintz. Philological Quarterly, Wntr 1998 v77 i1 p41(1). [Poems cited: "Prayer (I)," "Praise (II)," "Holdfast," "Longing," "The Collar," "Sighs and Groans," "Deniall," "Clasping of Hands," "Content," "Temper (I)."]
Music: John Dowland (c.1563-1626), "If That a Sinners Sighs."
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