LenTree For George Herbert

Day 2: Thursday

The Storm

If as the winds and waters here below

          Do fly and flow,

My sights and tears as busy were above;

          Sure they would move

And much affect you, as tempestuous times

Amaze poor mortals, and reveal their crimes.


Stars have their storms, ev'n in a high degree,

          As well as we.

A throbbing conscience spurred by remorse

          Has a strange force:

It quits the earth, and mounting more and more

Dares to assault You, and besiege Your door.


There it stands knocking, to Your music's wrong,

          And drowns the song.

Glory and honor are set by, till it

          An answer get.

Poets have wronged poor storms: such days are best;

They purge the air without, within the breast.

     1633 Edition

The Pulley

     When God at first made man,

Having a glass of blessings standing by;

“Let Us,” said He, “pour on him all We can:

Let the world's riches, which disperséd lie,

     Contract into a span.”


     So strength first made a way;

Then beauty flowed, then wisdom, honor, pleasure:

When almost all was out, God made a stay,

Perceiving that alone of all His treasure

     Rest in the bottom lay.


     “For if I should,” said He,

“Bestow this jewel also on my creature,

He would adore My gifts in stead of Me,

And rest in Nature, not the God of Nature:

     So both should losers be.


     “Yet let him keep the rest,

But keep them with repining restlessness:

Let him be rich and weary, that at least,

If goodness lead him not, yet weariness

     May toss him to My breast.”

1633 Edition

Index by Poem Title Lent Order Index

LenTree For George Herbert. The Altar.

George Herbert & The Temple Home Page

[Music: Aberystwyth, "Jesus Lover Of My Soul," is a Nineteenth Century response to but not a Herbertian understanding of life's storms described in the poems.]