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


¶   Sion.

LOrd, with what glorie wast thou serv’d of old,
When Solomons temple stood and flourished!
        Where most things were of purest gold;
        The wood was all embellished
With flowers and carvings, mysticall and rare:
All show’d the builders, crav’d the seers care.

Yet all this glorie, all this pomp and state
Did not affect thee much, was not thy aim;
        Something there was, that sow’d debate:
        Wherefore thou quitt’st thy ancient claim:
And now thy Architecture meets with sinne;
For all thy frame and fabrick is within.

There thou art struggling with a peevish heart,
Which sometimes crosseth thee, thou sometimes it:
        The fight is hard on either part.
        Great God doth fight, he doth submit.
All Solomons sea of brasse and world of stone
Is not so deare to thee as one good grone.

And truly brasse and stones are heavie things,
Tombes for the dead, not temples fit for thee:
        But grones are quick, and full of wings,
        And all their motions upward be;
And ever as they mount, like larks they sing;
The note is sad, yet musick for a King.

Old Map of Jerusalem, The Temple and Zion during Roman Occupation:

Old Map of Jerusalem, The Temple and Zion during Roman Occupation

Academic and Religious Note: Sometimes details, definitions and notations, including maps and pictures, detract from the meaning and your full understanding of the poem. The information intends to improve your understanding and appreciation not diminish it. Be careful.

1633 Poem Index George Herbert & The Temple Home Page

[The Temple of Herod. In the distance is Zion, the settlement of David.]