LenTree For George Herbert

Day 12: Second Sunday


                     Who is the honest man?

He that does still and strongly good pursue,

To God, his neighbor, and himself most true:

          Whom neither force nor fawning can

Unpin, or wrench from giving all their due.


                    Whose honesty is not

So loose or easy, that a ruffling wind

Can blow away, or glittering look it blind:

          Who rides his sure and even trot,

While the world now rides by, now lags behind.


                    Who, when great trials come,

Nor seeks, nor shuns them; but does calmly stay,

Till he the thing and the example weigh:

          All being brought into a sum,

What place or person calls for, he does pay.


                    Whom none can work or woo

To use in any thing a trick or sleight;

For above all things he abhors deceit:

          His words and works and fashion too

All of a piece, and all are clear and straight.


                    Who never melts or thaws

At close temptations: when the day is done,

His goodness sets not, but in dark can run:

          The sun to others writes their laws,

And is their virtue; Virtue is his Sun.


                    Who when he is to treat

With sick folks, women, those whom passions sway,

Allows for that, and keeps his constant way:

           Whom others faults do not defeat;

But though men fail him, yet his part does play.


                     Whom nothing can procure,

When the wide world runs bias from his will,

To writhe his limbs, and share, not mend the ill,

          This is the Mark-man, safe and sure,

Who still is right, and prays to be so still.

[The Virtues] 1633 Edition


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