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


¶   Paradise.

I Bless thee, Lord, because I GROW
Among  thy  trees, which in a ROW
To thee  both  fruit  and order  OW.

What  open  force,  or  hidden  CHARM
Can blast my fruit, or  bring me HARM,
While   the   inclosure  is   thine   ARM.

Inclose   me   still  for  fear  I   START.
Be   to  me  rather   sharp  and  TART,
Then let me want thy hand and ART.

When thou dost greater judgments SPARE,
And with thy  knife  but  prune  and PARE,
Ev’n   fruitfull   trees   more   fruitful  ARE.

Such sharpnes shows the sweetest FREND:
Such   cuttings    rather   heal  then   REND:
And  such   beginnings   touch  their  END.

Professor’s note: You have to appreciate improper spelling. Not just put up with it. The Eighteenth Century was intolerant of this. Only Herbert’s time could see a spelled word pared to make a rhyme and use it to give meaning to the poem.

  • Criticism/Interpretation: George Herbert's Poetry by Russell Fraser. [Poems cited: "Holy Scriptures I"; "The Pearl"; The Temple; "Paradise"; "Affliction"; "Home"; "The Collar"; "The Flower"; "Virtue"; "Providence"]

    Music Interpretation: "Paradise," a hymn by Red Dragon. Open music in another window.

    Essay on Rhyme: Rhyme as a Poetic Image in The Temple, J. R. Arner.

  • Destinations
    1633 Poem Index George Herbert & The Temple Home Page