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



¶   H. Baptisme. (II)

                                          SInce, Lord, to thee
                       A narrow way and little gate
Is all the passage, on my infancie
                       Thou didst lay hold, and antedate
                                          My faith in me.

                                          O let me still
                       Write thee great God, and me a childe:
Let me be soft and supple to thy will,
                       Small to my self, to others milde,
                                          Behither1 ill.

                                          Although by stealth
                       My flesh get on, yet let her sister
My soul bid nothing, but preserve her wealth:
                       The growth of flesh is but a blister;
                                          Childhood is health.

1 behither. short of; barring; save. [This line quoted in Oxford English Dictionary.] [Return]

Compare and Contrast with Wordsworth’s Ode on Intimations of Immortality.

Editor’s note: In the 1633 edition, both Baptism poems are on the same page with titles and horizontal rule, without numbering.

1633 Poem Index George Herbert & The Temple Home Page