St. Andrew's Bemertonfrom The Temple (1633), George Herbert:


¶   The Windows.

LOrd, how can man preach thy eternall word?
                  He is a brittle crazie glasse:
Yet in thy temple thou dost him afford
                  This glorious and transcendent place,
                  To be a window, through thy grace.

But when thou dost anneal in glasse thy storie,
                  Making thy life to shine within
The holy Preachers; then the light and glorie
                  More rev’rend grows, & more doth win:
                  Which else shows watrish, bleak, & thin.

Doctrine and life, colours and light, in one
                  When they combine and mingle, bring
A strong regard and aw: but speech alone
                  Doth vanish like a flaring thing,
                  And in the eare, not conscience ring.

Editor’s note: In the 1633 edition, the title above the poem is "The Windows." The title listed in the index is "Church-windows."


  • Explication on "The Windows." Southwest College, Houston.
  • "'To love the strife': George Herbert's Struggle for his Poetry" by Bruce A. Johnson. Renascence, 00344346, Winter94, Vol. 46, Issue 2. [Poems cited: "Praise (III)," "Denial," "Jordan (II)," "Providence," "The Altar," "The Windows," "Aaron," "The Priesthood," "Grief," "Judgement," "Employment (II)," "The Banquet."]

  • All 5 Furniture Poems.
    1633 Poem Index Links to Criticism George Herbert & The Temple Home Page