LenTree For George Herbert

Day 22: Wednesday

An Offering

Come, bring your gift. If blessings were as slow

As men's returns, what would become of fools?

What have you there? a heart? but is it pure?

Search well and see; for hearts have many holes.

Yet one pure heart is nothing to bestow:

In Christ two natures met to be your cure.


O that within us hearts had propagation,

Since many gifts do challenge many hearts!

Yet one, if good, may title to a number;

And single things grow fruitful by desserts.

In public judgments one may be a nation,

And fence a plague, while others sleep and slumber.


But all I fear is lest your heart displease,

As neither good, nor one: so oft divisions

Your lusts have made, and not your lusts alone;

Your passions also have their set partitions.

These parcel out your heart: recover these,

And you may offer many gifts in one.


There is a balsam, or indeed a blood,

Dropping from heaven, which does both cleanse and close

All sorts of wounds; of such strange force it is.

Seek out this All-heal, and seek no repose,

Until you find and use it to your good:

Then bring your gift, and let your hymn be this;


          Since my sadness

          Into gladness

Lord you do convert,

          O accept

          What you have kept,

As your due dessert.


          Had I many,

          Had I any,

(For this heart is none)

          All were thine

          And none of mine:

Surely yours alone.


          Yet your favor

          May give savor

To this poor oblation;

          And it raise

          To be your praise,

And be my salvation.

1633 Edition


Shaker Hymn Tune "Simple Gifts" 1848

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