LenTree For George Herbert

Day 19: Third Sunday

Justice (I)

          I cannot make sense of your ways.

Lord, you did make me, yet you woundest me;

Lord, you do wound me, yet you do relieve me:

Lord, you relievest, yet I die by thee:

Lord, you do kill me, yet you do reprieve me.

          But when I mark my life and praise,

          Your justice me most fitly pays:

For, I do praise you, yet I praise you not:

My prayers mean you, yet my prayers stray:

I would do well, yet sin the hand has got:

My soul does love you, yet It loves delay.

          I cannot value these my ways.

1633 Edition

Justice (II)

O dreadful Justice, what a fright and terror

                                        Were you of old,

                                        When sin and error

               Did show and shape your looks to me,

               And through their glass discolor thee!

He that did but look up, was proud and bold.


The dishes of your balance seemed to gape,

                                         Like two great pits;

                                         The beam and 'scape

              Did like some torturing engine show;

             Your hand above did burn and glow,

Daunting the stoutest hearts, the proudest wits.


But now that Christ's pure gift presents the sight,

                                        I see no fears:

                                        Your hand is white,

              Your scales like buckets, which attend

              And interchangeably descend,

Lifting to heaven from this well of tears.


For where before you still did call on me,

                                         Now I still touch

                                         And harp on thee.

              God's promises have made you mine;

             Why should I justice now decline?

Against me there is none, but for me much.

1633 Edition


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