[The Temple Colonnade, Detail of Model]from The Temple (1633), by George Herbert:


¶    Affliction. (III)

MY heart did heave, and there came forth, O God!
By that I knew that thou wast in the grief,
To guide and govern it to my relief,
       Making a scepter of the rod:
          Hadst thou not had thy part,
Sure the unruly sigh had broke my heart.

But since thy breath gave me both life and shape,
Thou knowst my tallies; and when there’s assign’d
So much breath to a sigh, what’s then behinde?
       Or if some yeares with it escape,
          The sigh then onely is
A gale to bring me sooner to my blisse.

Thy life on earth was grief, and thou art still
Constant unto it, making it to be
A point of honour, now to grieve in me,
       And in thy members suffer ill.
          They who lament one crosse,
Thou dying dayly, praise thee to thy losse.

All 5 Affliction Poems.

Links for all Affliction poems: "Affliction and Flight in Herbert’s Poetry: A Note" by P. G. Stanwood

"Puritan Utopia in Herbert’s Poetry: A Response to P.G. Stanwood’s Affliction and Flight in Herbert’s Poetry" by Paul Moon

1633 Poem Index Links to Criticism George Herbert & The Temple Home Page