LenTree For George Herbert

Day 39: Saturday

[The Sacrifice] (Concluded)

Shame tears my soul, my body many a wound;

Sharp nails pierce this, but sharper that confound;

Reproaches, which are free, while I am bound.

                           Was ever grief like mine?


Now heal your self, Physician; now come down.

Alas! I did so, when I left my crown

And Father’s smile for you, to feel His frown:

                           Was ever grief like mine?


In healing not my self, there does consist

All that salvation, which you now resist;

Your safety in my sickness does subsist:

                           Was ever grief like mine?


Betwixt two thieves I spend my utmost breath,

As he that for some robbery suffereth.

Alas! what have I stolen from you? Death.

                           Was ever grief like mine?


A king my title is, prefixed on high;

Yet by my subjects am condemned to die

A servile death in servile company:

                           Was ever grief like mine?


They give me vinegar mingled with gall,

But more with malice: yet, when they did call,

With Manna, Angels’ food, I fed them all:

                           Was ever grief like mine?


They part my garments, and by lot dispose

My coat, the type of love, which once cured those

Who sought for help, never malicious foes:

                           Was ever grief like mine?


Nay, after death their spite shall further go;

For they will pierce my side, I full well know;

That as sin came, so Sacraments might flow:

                           Was ever grief like mine?


But now I die; now all is finishéd.

My woe, man’s weal: and now I bow my head.

Only let others say, when I am dead,

                           Never was grief like mine.



1633 Edition Complete   The Sacrifice Study Tenebræ Version   The Sacrifice: a Cantata


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