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


¶   Jordan (II).

WHen first my lines of heav’nly joyes made mention,
Such was their lustre, they did so excell,
That I sought out quaint words and trim invention;
My thoughts began to burnish, sprout, and swell,
Curling with metaphors a plain intention,
Decking the sense, as if it were to sell.

Thousands of notions in my brain did runne,
Off’ring their service, if I were not sped:
I often blotted what I had begunne;
This was not quick enough, and that was dead.
Nothing could seem too rich to clothe the sunne,
Much lesse those joyes which trample on his head.

As flames do work and winde, when they ascend,
So did I weave my self into the sense.
But while I bustled, I might heare a friend
Whisper, How wide is all this long pretence!
There is in love a sweetnesse readie penn’d;
Copie out onely that, and save expense.

  • Conceits in "Jordan II" - Kaye Anfield
  • "Herbert's 'Deniall,' 'Jordan' I & II, and 'A Wreath'" (The difficulty of writing poetry) by Roberta Albrecht in The Explicator. [Poems cited: "Deniall," "Jordan I," "Jordan II," "A Wreath."]

  • Background Music: Shaker Hymn Tune "Simple Gifts," 1848. Click to open music in another program
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