George Herbert

(3 April 1593 – 1 March 1633 / Montgomery, Wales)

A Dialogue


Man. SWEETEST Saviour, if my soul
   Were but worth the having,
Quickly should I then control
   Any thought of waving.
But when all my care and pains
Cannot give the name of gains
To Thy wretch so full of stains,
What delight or hope remains?

Saviour. What, child, is the balance thine,
   Thine the poise and measure?
If I say, 'Thou shalt be Mine,'
   Finger not My treasure.
What the gains in having thee
Do amount to, only He
Who for man was sold can see;
That transferr'd th' accounts to Me.

Man. But as I can see no merit
   Leading to this favour,
So the way to fit me for it
   Is beyond my savour.
As the reason, then, is Thine,
So the way is none of mine;
I disclaim the whole design;
Sin disclaims and I resign.

Saviour. That is all: if that I could
   Get without repining;
And My clay, My creature, would
   Follow My resigning;
That as I did freely part
With My glory and desert,
Left all joys to feel all smart----

Man. Ah, no more! Thou break'st my heart!

Submitted: Saturday, January 04, 2003

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