[The Temple Court, Jerusalem, Model]from The Temple (1633), by George Herbert:


¶   Life.

I Made a posie, while the day ran by:
Here will I smell my remnant out, and tie
                      My life within this band.
But Time did becken to the flowers, and they
By noon most cunningly did steal away,
                      And wither'd in my hand.

My hand was next to them, and then my heart:
I took, without more thinking, in good part
                      Times gentle admonition:
Who did so sweetly deaths sad taste convey,
Making my minde to smell my fatall day;
                      Yet sugring the suspicion.

Farewell deare flowers, sweetly your time ye spent,
Fit, while ye liv'd, for smell or ornament,
                      And after death for cures.
I follow straight without complaints or grief,
Since if my sent be good, I care not if
                      It be as short as yours.

Already in The Mount of Olives (1652) Vaughan called Herbert 'a most glorious true Saint, and a Seer', mentioning especially 'his incomparable prophetick Poems, and particularly these, Church-musick, Church-rents and schisms, The Church militant', and quoting Life in full. In the preface to the enlarged edition of Silex Scintillans (1655) he attributes his conversion to sacred poetry to 'the blessed man, Mr. George Herbert, whose holy life and verse gained many pious Converts, (of whom I am the least)'.
[Quote from Hutchinson, F. E. The Works of George Herbert. xli.]

See Vaughan's poems "I saw Eternity the other night" and "The World."

Internal and Internet Links to George Herbert's Reputation and Influence.

1633 Poem Index George Herbert & The Temple Home Page