LenTree For George Herbert

Day 20: Monday


Jesu is in my heart, his sacred name

Is deeply carvéd there: but th' other week

A great affliction broke the little frame,

Even all to pieces: which I went to seek:

And first I found the corner, where was J,

After, where ES, and next where U was 'graved,

When I had got these parcels, instantly

I sat me down to spell them, and perceived

That to my broken heart he was I ease you,

                              And to the whole is JESU.

     1633 Edition

'The Penitent Magdalene' by Donatello, c.1455

Mary Magdalene.

When blesséd Mary wiped her Savior’s feet,

(Whose precepts she had trampled on before)

And wore them for a jewel on her head,

     Showing his way should be the street,

     Wherein she thenceforth evermore

With pensive humbleness would live and tread:


She being stained her self, why did she strive

To make him clean, who could not be defiled?

Why kept she not her tears for her own faults,

     And not his feet? Though we could dive

     In tears like seas, our sins are piled

Deeper than they, in words, and works, and thoughts.


Dear soul, she knew who did vouchsafe and deign

To bear her filth; and that her sins did dash

Even God himself: wherefore she was not loth,

     As she had brought wherewith to stain,

     So to bring in wherewith to wash:

And yet in washing one, she washéd both.

1633 Edition

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