Robert Herrick

(1591-1674 / London / England)

A Thanksgiving to God for His House


Lord, Thou hast given me a cell
Wherein to dwell;
An little house, whose humble roof
Is weather-proof;
Under the spars of which I lie
Both soft and dry;
Where Thou my chamber for to ward
Hast set a guard
Of harmless thoughts, to watch and keep
Me, while I sleep.
Low is my porch as is my fate,
Both void of state;
And yet the threshold of my door
Is worn by'th' poor,
Who thither come, and freely get
Good words, or meat;
Like as my parlour, so my hall
And kitchen's small;
A little butterie and therein
A little bin,
Which keeps my little loaf of bread
Unchipp'd, unflay'd;
Some brittle sticks of thorn or briar
Make me a fire,
Close by whose living coal I sit,
And glow like it.
Lord, I confess too, when I dine,
The pulse is Thine,
And all those other bits that be
There plac'd by Thee;
The worts, the purslain, and the mess
Of water-cress,
Which of Thy kindness Thou hast sent;
And my content
Makes those, and my beloved beet,
To be more sweet.
'Tis Thou that crown'st my glitt'ring hearth
With guiltless mirth;
And giv'st me wassail bowls to drink,
Spic'd to the brink.
Lord, 'tis Thy plenty-dropping hand
That soils my land;
And giv'st me, for my bushel sown,
Twice ten for one;
Thou mak'st my teeming hen to lay
Her egg each day;
Besides my healthful ewes to bear
Me twins each year;
The while the conduits of my kine
Run cream (for wine.)
All these, and better Thou dost send
Me, to this end,
That I should render, for my part,
A thankful heart,
Which, fir'd with incense, I resign
As wholly Thine;
But the acceptance, that must be,
My Christ, by Thee.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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