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


 ¶   The Bag.

AWay despair! my gracious Lord doth heare.
         Though windes and waves assault my keel,
         He doth preserve it: he doth steer,
         Ev’n when the boat seems most to reel.
          Storms are the triumph of his art:
Well may he close his eyes, but not his heart.

Hast thou not heard, that my Lord Jesus di’d?
         Then let me tell thee a strange storie.
         The God of power, as he did ride
         In his majestic robes of glorie,
         Reserv’d to light; and so one day
He did descend, undressing all the way.

The starres his tire1 of light and rings obtain’d,
         The cloud his bow, the fire his spear,
         The sky his azure mantle gain’d.
         And when they ask’d, what he would wear;
         He smil’d and said as he did go,
He had new clothes a making here below.

When he was come, as travellers are wont,
         He did repair unto an inne.
         Both then, and after, many a brunt
         He did endure to cancell sinne:
         And having giv’n the rest before,
Here he gave up his life to pay our score.

But as he was returning, there came one
         That ran upon him with a spear.
         He, who came hither all alone,
         Bringing nor man, nor arms, nor fear,
         Receiv’d the blow upon his side,
And straight he turn’d, and to his brethren cry’d,

If ye have any thing to send or write,
         I have no bag, but here is room:
         Unto my Fathers hands and sight,
         Beleeve me, it shall safely come.
         That I shall minde, what you impart;
Look, you may put it very neare my heart.

Or if hereafter any of my friends
         Will use me in this kinde, the doore
         Shall still be open; what he sends
         I will present, and somewhat more,
         Not to his hurt.  Sighs will convey
Any thing to me.  Harke, Despair away.

[Detail of the wound in Christ’s side from Crucifixion by Giotto]

1 tire. circle, ring, corona; halo. [Return]

Music Interpretation: "The Bag" by Red Dragon 

[Crosslet Cross Double Crossed]Modern version
1633 Poem Index George Herbert & The Temple Home Page