Or fight or travel or deny that you had anything to do with me
O tame my heart; It is your highest art
Full of rebellion I would die

LenTree For George Herbert

Day 21: Tuesday


Full of rebellion, I would die

Or fight, or travel, or deny

That you had ought to do with me.

                              O tame my heart;

                    It is your highest art

To captivate strong holds to thee.


If you shall let this venom lurk,

And in suggestions fume and work,

My soul will turn to bubbles straight,

                              And then by kind

                    Vanish into a wind,

Making your workmanship deceit.


O smooth my rugged heart, and there

Engrave your rev'rend Law and fear;

Or make a new one, since the old

                              Is sapless grown,

                    And a much fitter stone

To hide my dust, than you to hold.

     1633 Edition

The World

Love built a stately house; where Fortune came,

And spinning fancies, she was heard to say,

That her fine cobwebs did support the frame,

Whereas they were supported by the same:

But Wisdom quickly swept them all away.


Then Pleasure came, who, liking not the fashion,

Began to make Balconies, Terraces,

Till she had weakened all by alteration:

But rev'rend laws, and many a proclamation

Reforméd all at length with menaces.


Then entered Sin, and with that Sycamore,1

Whose leaves first sheltered man from drought & dew,

Working and winding slyly evermore,

The inward walls and main-beams cleft and tore:

But Grace shored these, and cut that as it grew.


Then Sin combined with Death in a firm band

To raze the building to the very floor:

Which they effected, none could them withstand.

But Love and Grace took Glory by the hand,

And built a braver Palace than before.

1633 Edition

1 Sycamore: a tree with large leaves. Used to cover the nakedness of Adam and Eve. [We think it was the fig leaf.] [Return]


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