LenTree For George Herbert

Day 8: Wednesday


     Lord, I confess my sin is great;

     Great is my sin. Oh! gently treat

With your quick flower, your momentary bloom;

                         Whose life still pressing

                         Is one undressing,

     A steady aiming at a tomb.


     Man's age is two hours work, or three:

     Each day does round about us see.

Thus are we to delights: but we are all

                         To sorrows old,

                         If like be told

     From what life feels of Adam's fall.


     O let your height of mercy then

     Compassionate short-breathéd men.

Cut me not off for my most foul transgression:

                         I do confess

                         My foolishness;

     My God, accept of my confession.


     Sweeten at length this bitter bowl,

     Which you have poured into my soul;

Your wormwood turn to health, winds to fair weather:

                         For if you stay,

                         I and this day,

     As we did rise, we die together.


     When you for sin rebuke each man,

     Forthwith he waxeth woe and wan:

Bitterness fills our bowels; all our hearts

                         Pine, and decay,

                         And drop away,

     And carry with them th’ other parts.


     But you will sin and grief destroy;

     That so the broken bones may joy,

And tune together in a well-set song,

                         Full of His praises,

                         Who dead men raises.

     Fractures well cured make us more strong.

1633 Edition

Music: John Dowland, (c.1563-1626, English), "Sinners Sighs."  


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