[The Courts of the Temple, Detail of Model]from The Temple (1633), by George Herbert:


¶    Repentance.

	 LOrd, I confesse my sinne is great;
	Great is my sinne.  Oh! gently treat
With thy quick flow’r, thy momentarie bloom;
                    Whose life still pressing
                    Is one undressing,
	A steadie aiming at a tombe.

	Mans age is two houres work, or three:
	Each day doth round about us see.
Thus are we to delights: but we are all
                    To sorrows old,
                    If like be told
	From what life feeleth, Adams fall.

	O let thy height of mercie then
	Compassionate short-breathed men.
Cut me not off for my most foul transgression:
                    I do confesse
                    My foolishnesse;
	My God, accept of my confession.

	Sweeten at length this bitter bowl,
	Which thou hast pour’d into my soul;
Thy wormwood turn to health, windes to fair weather:
                    For if thou stay,
                    I and this day,
	As we did rise, we die together.

	When thou for sinne rebukest man,
	Forthwith he waxeth wo and wan:
Bitternesse fills our bowels; all our hearts
                    Pine, and decay,
                    And drop away,
	And carrie with them th’ other parts.

	But thou wilt sinne 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 cur’d make us more strong.

Student note: "well-set" is a pun meaning both well written music and properly set fracture.

Modern version
1633 Poem Index George Herbert & The Temple Home Page