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


The Jews.

       POore nation, whose sweet sap and juice
Our cyens1 have purloin’d,2 and left you drie:
Whose streams we got by the Apostles sluce,3
And use in baptisme, while ye pine and die:
Who by not keeping once, became a debter;
          And now be keeping lose the letter:

Oh that my prayers! mine, alas! Oh that some Angel might a trumpet sound; At which the Church falling upon her face. Should crie so loud, untill the trump were drown’d, And by that crie of her deare Lord obtain, That your sweet sap might come again!

1 cyens, scions - A shoot or twig; a slip for grafting. (Oxford English Dictionary). In gardening, a cutting taken from one plant and grafted onto another plant, such as taking a scion from a fruitful tree and grafting onto a hardy trunk of another tree. [Return]

2 purloin’d - put far away; removed; stolen. (Oxford English Dictionary) [Return]

3 sluce, sluice - A dam or shoot of wood or masonry used to divert a stream for another purpose. A channel or drain carrying off the overflow. (see also Oxford English Dictionary) [Return]

Related Criticism: "George Herbert, Henry Vaughan, and the conversion of the Jews" by Nabil I. Matar [Works cited: "The Jews," Priest to the Temple, Ch. 34, "The Parson's Dexterity in applying of Remedies", "Self-condemnation,"

per request of Thomas H. Luxon, General Editor, The Milton Reading Room [in new window], Associate Professor of English, Dartmouth College.

After the Mel Gibson-Christ Controversy, this poem deserves a careful reading.

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