Links to George Herbert's works:

[George Herbert at Bemerton]The Works of George Herbert (55 poems, plus quotations and biography) Luminarium Site includes other Renaissance and Seventeenth Century writers.

Sonnets Central: Sonnets of George Herbert, Eric Blomquist

Famous Poets & Poems.Com: (78 poems, plus quotations, and biography)

The Country Parson Project Canterbury: Full Text in original spelling. [See also on this site.]

For an Index of manuscript photos and pages from the 1633 edition of The Temple.

Modern Readings of Herbert's Poetry:

'The Collar' by George Herbert. Read by Peggy Ashcroft

'Redemption' by George Herbert. Read by Peggy Ashcroft

'Virtue' by George Herbert. Read by Glyn Houston

A Reading and Interpretation of 'The British Church' by George Herbert. Discussion by Studio 4B

Biographical Links, His Life, Family and Friends:

Luminarium. Biography. Timeline.

Biographies of Saints and religious people, for February 27 by James Kiefer

Isaak Walton, "The Life of George Herbert [Link]," 1670. More important for his reputation than accuracy of his life.

Article in Cambridge History of English and American Literature, Vol. VII on "George Herbert's personality and divided aims reflected in his poems."

Biography by St. James' Church, Manotick

Biographical by Brent Ehrig, et al. (students at SW Texas Community College)

Biography at The Columbia Encyclopedia

Cambridge Biographical Encyclopedia

Biography at George

For a PhotoAlbum of places and people in his life.

Related Links, His Environment and Times:  

Web Site
History & Politics
Religion, History & Writers
Luminarium.. Major and minor writers of 16th & 17th Century Some political writers Some religious writers. The Works of Richard Hooker ( The Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity and Sermons)
Voice of the Shuttle: English Literature: Renaissance. Extensive links to literature. under authors under authors
Cambridge History of British and American Literature (Index) Articles about authors Articles about authors Articles about authors
Renaissance and 17th Century Links (17th Century Net) Yes Yes under Meditations
Life in Elizabethan England: A Compendium of Common Knowledge (1558-1603) Very Interesting for all areas of Elizabethan life. Yes Yes Yes
Bibliography by William S. Peterson. Yes Yes Yes
George Herbert Gallery of Related Pictures with links and resources. Southwest College, Houston, TX. [Many of the prints of George Herbert PhotoAlbum of locations and family are from this WebSite.] Engraving of Donne and others Portraits of Elizabeth I Engravings of Lancelot Andrewes, Medieval illuminations of Bible events
Book of Common Prayer No No under "Other Anglican Communions" (includes 1549, 1552 and 1559 versions of Holy Communion and other services.)
Sites that specialize in specific areas     Writings of English Cathedral Clergy, 1600-1700: I. Devotional Literature and Sermons, By: Lehmberg, Stanford, Anglican Theological Review, 00033286, Winter93, Vol. 75, Issue 1

Reputation, Recommendations and Influence (Chronologically) [on this site unless noted as Link]:

Sir Francis Bacon dedicates his translation of several Psalms to George Herbert (1625).

"The Printers to the Reader" from The Temple (1633) describing Herbert's reputation. (Possibly written by his good friend, Nicholas Ferrar, of Little Gidding.)

Christopher Harvey wrote The Synagogue or The Shadow of the Temple Sacred Poems and Private Ejaculations in Imitation of Mr. George Herbert. (1640).

Richard Crashaw 's poem recommending George Herbert & The Temple [Link] . He also wrote a book of poems, Steps to the Temple (1646). F. E. Hutchinson on "Crashaw's relation to Herbert"

Charles I read The Temple while he was in prison, 1649.

Henry Vaughan called Herbert "a most glorious true Saint, and Seer." (1652) He considered Herbert "a Seer" because he predicted that the true Religion would move to America. [See Printers to the Reader.] Vaughan wrote a book of poems entitled Silex Scintillans, Sacred Poems and Private Ejaculations (1650); (second part added 1652 ). Also F. E. Hutchinson's "His debt to Herbert, spiritual and literary" [Link].

So pious his life, that, as he was a copy of primitive, he might be a pattern of Sanctity to posterity. To testifie his independency on all others, he never mentioned the name of Jesus Christ, but with this addition, "My Master." Next God the Word, he loved the Word of God being heard often to protest, "That he would not part with one leaf thereof for the whole world." -- Thomas Fuller, 1662, The Worthies of England, ed. Nichols, vol. II, p. 601. [From Moulton's Library of Criticism.]

He was buryed (according to his owne desire) with the singing service for the buriall of dead, by the singing men of Sarum. Fr(ancis) Sambroke (attorney) then assisted as a chorister boy, my uncle, Thomas Danvers, was at the funerall. Vide in the Register booke at the office when he dyed, for the parish register is lost. Memorandum: -- in the chancell are many apt sentences of the Scripture. . . . When he was first married he lived a yeare or better at Dantesey house. H. Allen, of Dantesey, was well acquainted with him, who has told me that he had a very good hand on the lute, and that he sett his own lyricks or sacred poems. 'Tis an honour to the place, to have had the heavenly and ingeniose contemplation of this good man, who was pious even to prophesie; -- e. g. "Religion now on tip-toe stands Ready to goe to the American strands." -- John Aubrey, 1669-96, Brief Lives, ed. Clark, vol. I, pp. 309, 310. [From Moulton's Library of Criticism.]

Isaak Walton, Lives, including "The Life of George Herbert [Link]," 1670, established his reputation.

Joseph Addison, in The Spectator, No. 58, Monday, May 7, 1711, argued against ancient Greek poems in the shape of eggs, &c. as false wit. He continued:

     Mr. Dryden hints at this obsolete kind of Wit [shaped poems] in one of the following Verses in his Mac Fleckno; which an English Reader cannot understand, who does not know that there are those little Poems abovementioned in the Shape of Wings and Altars.

       . . . Chuse for thy Command
Some peaceful Province in Acrostick Land;
There may'st thou Wings display, and Altars raise,
And torture one poor Word a thousand Ways.
     This Fashion of false Wit was revived by several Poets of the last Age, and in particular may be met with among Mr. Herbert's Poems; . . . .

John Wesley , the church reformer and founder of Methodism, included 47 poems from The Temple in various collections of hymns and sacred poetry. He adapted many to use with hymn tunes. [e.g. " Teach me, my God and King " about 1738.]

William Cowper (1731-1800) found great solace in these poems during his periods of depression.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote about Herbert in The Friend (about 1817):

The quaintness of some of his thoughts, not of his diction, than which nothing can be more pure, manly, and unaffected, has blinded modern readers to the great general merit of his poems, which are for the most part exquisite in their kind.
And later he amended this to
I find more substantial comfort now in pious George Herbert's "Temple," which I used to read to amuse myself with his quaintness, in short, only to laugh at, than in all the poetry since the poems of Milton. -- Lectures and Notes on Shakspere, 1818. [From Moulton's Library of Criticism.]

 He also calls Herbert "a true poet" {Hutchinson, E. F. The Works of George Herbert . xlix.} and wrote "Notes on The Temple and The Synagogue," published in The Temple by George Herbert, (Pickering: London, 1838).[" The Flower " on this site]

In "Prospects" from his lectures on Nature 1849, Ralph Waldo Emerson quotes 5 stanzas of "Man" :

Nor has science sufficient humanity, so long as the naturalist overlooks that wonderful congruity which subsists between man and the world; of which he is lord, not because he is the most subtile inhabitant, but because he is its head and heart, and finds something of himself in every great and small thing, in every mountain stratum, in every new law of color, fact of astronomy, or atmospheric influence which observation or analysis lay open. A perception of this mystery inspires the muse of George Herbert, the beautiful psalmist of the seventeenth century. The following lines are part of his little poem on Man.
Also: Criticism by Ralph Waldo Emerson [Work cited: "Affliction (I)"]

Elizabeth Barrett Browning, 1842-63, writes, "His face as the face of a spirit, dimly bright." -- The Book of the Poets, vol. II, p. 50. [From Moulton's Library of Criticism.]

See an article by D'Amico, Diane. "Reading and Rereading George Herbert and Christina Rossetti." John Donne Journal 4 (1985): 269-89.

Isaac Williams' Cathedral, a Tractarian imitation of George Herbert's poetic anthology, The Temple, links the architectural features of the physical cathedral with the spiritual qualities of Christ's Church.

Emily Dickinson copied two stanzas of "Mattens" that were published as her poems by mistake. This is a recommendation by Dickinson and her friends.

W. H. Auden said, "The two English poets, neither of them, perhaps, major poets, whom I would most like to have known well are William Barnes and George Herbert." Criticism by W. H. Auden [Poems cited: "Affliction (I)"; "The Pearl"; "The Church-Porch"; "Denial"]

T. S. Eliot acknowledges "the spiritual stamina of his work." [Compares John Donne: " Prayer (I) " See also, " The Collar ."]

The great danger, for the poet who would write religious verse, is that of setting down what he would like to feel rather than be faithful to the expression of what he really feels. Of such pious insincerity Herbert is never guilty. ... What we can confidently believe is that every poem in the book is true to the poet's experience. -  T. S. Eliot. "George Herbert."
Also: Criticism by T. S. Eliot compared with John Donne. [Works cited: The Temple; "Prayer (I)"; "The Sacrifice"; "Affliction (i)"; "The Temper (i)"; "Whitsunday"; "The Flower"; "Obedience"; "The Quip"; "Redemption"; "Faith"; "Church-monuments"; "The Windows"; "Ungratefulnesse"; "Mortification"; "Good Friday"; "Sepulchre"; "Easter"; "Holy Baptisme I"; "Repentance"; "Sighs and Grones"; "Denial"; "Miserie"; "Praise II"; "Discipline"; "Love III"]

C. S. Lewis quotation from his pre-Christian days with "The Adventure of Faith" of the Apostle Paul. [Link]

Music and The Temple [at this site unless noted as Link] :

A note on Herbert and music by Isaac Walton (1670) and John Aubrey (1669-96). .

Harmonica Sacra (1688) includes Henry Purcell 's setting of "Longing"  [poem only] and Dr. John Blow 's setting of "And art thou grieved?" [poem only]

Hymn Tunes: "Highroad" (with words of Antiphon I); "Gwalchmai," derived from J. S. Bach, (with words from "Praise (II);" "Emmaus" (an arrangement of the hymn tune for Herbert's "The Elixir"); "Crimond" (an arrangement of the hymn tune for Herbert's "The 23 Psalme" ).

C. Hubert H. Parry (1848-1918) wrote music for "Vertue." [see poem.]

Ralph Vaughan Williams [Link] (1872-1958) composed 5 Mystical Songs [Link] using George Herbert's poems:

  1. Easter section A, hear beginning portion
  2. I Got Me Flowers [Second part of poem "Easter" poem only]
  3. Love Bade Me Welcome ["Love (III)," poem only]
  4. The Call [poem with music]
  5. Antiphon [poem with other music].

5 Hymns: "Come My Way, My Truth, My Life" (The Call), "Let All The World In Every Corner Sing" (Antiphon), "Teach Me, My God and King" (The Elixir) God of Love My Shepherd Is, The [The 23rd Psalm], King of Glory, King of Peace [Praise] [Link].

Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) wrote music for "Antiphon (II)."

Ned Rorem, After Long Silence: Ten poems for Voice, Oboe and Strings, (1982). Text: William Bulter Yeats, George Herbert, Thomas Carew, Robert Burns, Queen Elizabeth I, Thomas Hardy, William Blake, Ernest Dowson, Emily Dickinson.

Selah Choral George Herbert Series [Link to sheet music for sale]: This listing shows the anthems commissioned to celebrate the 400th birthday of the English mystical poet George Herbert in 1993.

Thomas Dunn, American conductor and composer, (1925 - ), wrote "Bitter-sweet," "Praise," and "Let All The World" for amateur choir and organ. [Links to the poems: Bitter-sweet, Praise (II), and Antiphon (I).]

Mostly modern composers (many) who have used poems of George Herbert - The Lied and Art Song Texts Page: George Herbert (The text and composer are given. The music is not.)

Essay on Music as an Image in The Temple

. From Welsh Requiem for the Living : " The Collar ;" " Affliction (IV) ;" "Antiphon (I) ;" " The Storm" and "Even-song (Tallis)." 2005: "Pilgrimage: Unfinished Tone Poem." 2006: "Sinnes Round" (two versions), "Heaven," "Praise (II)," "Discipline," "The Pearl," "Bitter-sweet," "Praise (III)," "A Wreath," "Longing" (two versions), "Paradise," "Even-song," "Affliction (V)," "An Offering," "Pilgrimage," "The Starre," "Sepulchre," "The Foil," "The Bag," "Deniall," "Businesse," "A true Hymne," "Christmas," "The Rose," "Coloss. 3.3," "The Fragrance of My Master" ("The Odour 2 Cor.2"), "The Search," "Employment (I)," "The Pulley" and "Dedication" from "The Church-porch" based on Orlando Gibbons. 2007: "The Sacrifice", a cantata, and "Antiphon (II)."

Links to Criticism, George Herbert and Our Times for a better understanding [also on the page of the appropriate poem]:

E-mail: Content & George Herbert questions.

[E-mail]  E-mail helpful suggestions. Any missing links? However personal this site may be, we want it to be helpful/useful, complete and accurate. WebMaster. Thank you. *THE TEMPLE: The Church Porch; The Church; The Church Militant. What would you like added? Requests accepted.

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