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


¶    Affliction. (V)

           MY God, I read this day,
That planted Paradise was not so firm,
As was and is thy floting Ark; whose stay
And anchor thou art onely, to confirm
       And strengthen it in ev’ry age,
       When waves do rise, and tempests rage.

           At first we liv’d in pleasure;
Thine own delights thou didst to us impart;
When we grew wanton, thou didst use displeasure
To make us thine: yet that we might not part,
       As we at first did board with thee,
       Now thou wouldst taste our miserie.

           There is but joy and grief;
If either will convert us, we are thine:
Some Angels us’d the first; if our relief
Take up the second, then thy double line
       And sev’rall baits in either kinde
       Furnish thy table to thy minde.

           Affliction then is ours;
We are the trees, whom shaking fastens more,
While blustring winds destroy the wanton bowres,
And ruffle all their curious knots and store.
       My God, so temper joy and wo,
       That thy bright beams may tame thy bow.

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

    Musical Interpretation: "Affliction (V)" in D Minor, a choral anthem To open music in another window. 

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