LenTree For George Herbert

Day 37: Thursday

The Cross

              What is this strange and uncouth thing?

To make me sigh, and seek, and faint, and die,

Until I had some place, where I might sing,

              And serve you; and not only I,

But all my wealth and family might combine

To set your honor up, as our design.


              And then when after much delay,

Much wrestling, many a combat, this dear end,

So much desired, is given, to take away

              My power to serve you; to unbend

All my abilities, my designs confound,

And lay my threat’nings bleeding on the ground.


              One ague still dwells in my bones,

Another in my soul (the memory

What I would do for you, if once my groans

              Could be allowed for harmony):

I am in all a weak disabled thing,

Save in the sight thereof, where strength does sting.


              Besides, things sort not to my will,

Ev’n when my will does study your renown:

You turnest th’ edge of all things on me still,

              Taking me up to throw me down:

So that, ev’n when my hopes seem to be sped,

I am to grief alive, to them as dead.


              To have my aim, and yet to be

Further from it than when I bent my bow;

To make my hopes my torture, and the fee

              Of all my woes another woe,

Is in the midst of delicates to need,

And ev'n in Paradise to be a weed.


              Ah my dear Father, ease my smart!

These contrarieties crush me: these cross actions

Do wind a rope about, and cut my heart:

              And yet since these your contradictions

Are properly a cross felt by the Son,

With but four words, my words, Your will be done.

1633 Edition

Cross for George Herbert (Java for Jesus site by Leo Wong)


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