George Herbert

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

Mattins - Poem by George Herbert

I cannot ope mine eyes,
But thou art ready there to catch
My morning-soul and sacrifice:
Then we must needs for that day make a match.

My God, what is a heart?
Silver, or gold, or precious stone,
Or star, or rainbow, or a part
Of all these things or all of them in one?

My God, what is a heart?
That thou should'st it so eye, and woo,
Pouring upon it all thy art,
As if that thou hadst nothing else to do?

Indeed man's whole estate
Amounts (and richly) to serve thee:
He did not heav'n and earth create,
Yet studies them, not him by whom they be.

Teach me thy love to know;
That this new light, which now I see,
May both the work and workman show:
Then by a sun-beam I will climb to thee.


Comments about Mattins by George Herbert

  • Rookie Onyeka Ajah (2/5/2014 11:19:00 AM)

    He did not heav'n and earth create yet studies them, not him by whom they be.... This is so true, everyday we have men straining to discover more about creation yet so blind about d creator! (Report) Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 14,297 Points * Sunprincess * (2/5/2013 1:16:00 AM)

    this is the most beautiful line
    ~Then by a sun-beam I will climb to thee.~
    totally caught my attention! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Schuyler Allen (2/5/2012 3:25:00 PM)

    Your poems inspire me so much :) (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 233 Points Manonton Dalan (2/5/2012 4:57:00 AM)

    reading poem like this on sunday morning
    is very good start for me as christian. yes,
    teach me thy love to know so i won't be
    lost among genius of your flock. md (Report) Reply

  • Rookie BreOnna Schneck (2/5/2010 9:00:00 AM)

    It shows not only religious beliefs but the truth of it through words. I myself am religious and this poem describes what many may feel. Don't be put out by what others criticize on your beliefs. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Kevin Straw (2/5/2010 8:01:00 AM)

    Beautifully written, but addressing the religionists who believe in its theology. Why are there so many religious poems in this slot? (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Jenel Shain (2/5/2010 7:08:00 AM)

    wow, powerful, really turns my heart. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 26 Points Joseph Poewhit (2/5/2010 6:25:00 AM)

    Herbert brings to light the conflict of worldly treasure and the calling of heavenly treasures.Bringing to mind that, yea, cannot serve mammon and GOD at the same time. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 446 Points Indira Renganathan (2/5/2010 4:13:00 AM)

    An ambitious poem rightly pleading to the Lord....
    'Teach me thy love to know;
    That this new light, which now I see,
    May both the work and workman show:
    Then by a sun-beam I will climb to thee....very lovable words from an ancestral poet of 16th to 17th century (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Terence George Craddock (2/5/2010 4:02:00 AM)

    I cannot ope mine eyes,
    But thou art ready there to catch
    My morning-soul and sacrifice:
    Is this not beautiful? God eagerly waiting to embrace, his soul his heart each morning. A heart described in metaphor so descriptively. A heart eager to be taught and know God's love with each new light, a heart wanting to climb up to God upon a sun-beam. (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 678 Points Ramesh T A (2/5/2010 12:54:00 AM)

    Before the eye opens in the morning Sun gives more than needed by its light! What an heart - gold, silver and diamonds and stars, rainbow and all in one! Such a love the poet wants from God to do best in the world! Nice request indeed! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Quang Vo (2/5/2008 5:38:00 PM)

    its so emotional...it moves my heart (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Kentucky Refugee (2/5/2008 12:47:00 AM)

    This is so beautiful. 'What is a heart? ' ...I wish that I had written it. (Report) Reply

Read all 13 comments »




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Read poems about / on: rainbow, silver, star, work, god, sun, light, heart



Poem Submitted: Friday, November 28, 2003



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