LenTree For George Herbert

Day 27: Monday

Muttering Thoughts




Quest of Untrained Hope


Call of Passion


Hellish Moths


Court Place and Fortune


Brags of Life


your Chronicle


Peace muttering thoughts, and do not grudge to keep

          Within the walls of your own breast:

Who cannot on his own bed sweetly sleep,

          Can on another's hardly rest.


Gad not abroad at ev'ry quest and call

          Of an untrainéd hope or passion.

To court each place or fortune that does fall,

          Is wantonness in contemplation.


Mark how the fire in flints does quiet lie,

          Content and warm t' it self alone:

But when it would appear to other's eye,

          Without a knock it never shone.


Give me the pliant mind, whose gentle measure

          Complies and suits with all estates;

Which can let loose to a crown, and yet with pleasure

          Take up within a cloister's gates.


This soul does span the world, and hang content

          From either pole unto the center:

Wherein each room of the well-furnished tent

          He lies warm, and without adventure.


The brags of life are but a nine days wonder;

          And after death the fumes that spring

From private bodies make as big a thunder,

          As those which rise for a huge King.


Only your Chronicle is lost; and yet

          Better by worms be all once spent,

Than to have hellish moths still gnaw and fret

          Your name in books, which may not rent:


When all your deeds, whose brunt you feel alone,

          Are chewed by others pens and tongue;

And as their wit is, their digestion,

          Your nourished fame is weak or strong.


Then cease discoursing soul, till your own ground,

          Do not your self or friends importune.

He that by seeking has himself once found,

          Has ever found a happy fortune.

1633 Edition


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