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


¶    Affliction. (IV)

BRoken in pieces all asunder,
                      Lord, hunt me not,
                     A thing forgot,
Once a poore creature, now a wonder,
               A wonder tortur’d in the space
               Betwixt this world and that of grace.

My thoughts are all a case of knives,
                     Wounding my heart
                     With scatter’d smart,
As watring pots give flowers their lives.
               Nothing their furie can controll,
               While they do wound and prick my soul.

All my attendants are at strife,
                     Quitting their place
                     Unto my face:
Nothing performs the task of life:
               The elements are let loose to fight,
               And while I live, trie out their right.

Oh help, my God! let not their plot
                     Kill them and me,
                     And also thee,
Who art my life: dissolve the knot,
               As the sunne scatters by his light
               All the rebellions of the night.

Then shall those powers, which work for grief,
                     Enter thy pay,
                     And day by day
Labour thy praise, and my relief;
               With care and courage building me,
                Till I reach heav’n, and much more, thee.

Criticism of "Affliction (IV)": "’Betwixt this world and that of grace’: George Herbert’s potential spaces" by Julia Guernsey.

Music Interpretation: Adaptation of J. S. Bach’s Fugue #8, Well Tempered Clavier I, with the words of "Affliction (IV)." Arranged by Red Dragon. To open music in another program.

All 5 Affliction Poems.

Links for criticism 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

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