[The Court of the Temple, Jerusalem, Model]from The Temple (1633), by George Herbert:


¶   The Discharge.

BUsie enquiring heart, what wouldst thou know?
                                         Why dost thou prie,
And turn, and leer, and with a licorous1 eye
                                         Look high and low;
                 And in thy lookings stretch and grow?

Hast thou not made thy counts, and summ’d up all?
                                         Did not thy heart
Give up the whole, and with the whole depart?
                                         Let what will fall:
                 That which is past who can recall?

Thy life is Gods, thy time to come is gone,
                                         And is his right.
He is thy night at noon: he is at night
                                         Thy noon alone.
                 The crop is his, for he hath sown.

And well it was for thee, when this befell,
                                         That God did make
Thy businesse his, and in thy life partake:
                                         For thou canst tell,
                 If it be his once, all is well.

Onely the present is thy part and fee.
                                         And happy thou,
If, though thou didst not beat thy future brow,
                                         Thou couldst well see
                 What present things requir’d of thee.

They ask enough; why shouldst thou further go?
                                         Raise not the mudde
Of future depths, but drink the cleare and good.
                                         Dig not for wo
                 In times to come; for it will grow.

Man the present fit: if he provide,
                                         He breaks the square.
This houre is mine: if for the next I care,
                                         I grow too wide,
                 And do encroach upon deaths side.

For death each hour environs2 and surrounds.
                                         He that would know
And care for future chances, cannot go
                                         Unto those grounds,
                 But through a Church-yard which them bounds.

Things present shrink and die: but they that spend
                                         Their thoughts and sense
On future grief, do not remove it thence,
                                         But it extend,
                 And draw the bottome out an end.

God chains the dog till night: wilt loose the chain,
                                         And wake thy sorrow?
Wilt thou forestall it, and now grieve to morrow,
                                         And then again
                 Grieve over freshly all thy pain?

Either grief will not come: or if it must,
                                         Do not forecast.
And while it cometh, it is almost past.
                                         Away distrust:
                 My God hath promis’d; he is just.

1 licorous. Var. of lickerous. 1. Pleasing or tempting to the palate; 2. Greedy of good fare; 3. Lecherous, lustful, wanton (Oxford English Dictionary) [Return]
2 environ, v.i. To circle. Also, figurative, as with danger. (Oxford English Dictionary) [Return]

Compare: "If it be not now, yet it will come. The readiness is all." -- Hamlet

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