George Herbert

George Herbert Poems

When thou didst entice to thee my heart,
I thought the service brave:
So many joys I writ down for my part,
Besides what I might have
...

2.

Sweet Peace, where dost thou dwell? I humbly crave,
Let me once know.
I sought thee in a secret cave,
And ask'd, if Peace were there,
...

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.
...

Ah, my dear angry Lord,
Since thou dost love, yet strike;
Cast down, yet help afford;
Sure I will do the like.
...

Lord, Who createdst man in wealth and store,
Though foolishly he lost the same,
Decaying more and more,
Till he became
...

When my devotions could not pierce
Thy silent ears;
Then was my heart broken, as was my verse:
My breast was full of fears
...

When God at first made man,
Having a glass of blesings standing by;
Let us (said he) pour on him all we can:
Let the world's riches, which dispersed lie,
...

8.

LOVE bade me welcome; yet my soul drew back,
   Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
   From my first entrance in,
...

Man. SWEETEST Saviour, if my soul
   Were but worth the having,
Quickly should I then control
   Any thought of waving.
...

LORD, Thou art mine, and I am Thine,
If mine I am; and Thine much more
Then I or ought or can be mine.
Yet to be Thine doth me restore,
...

11.

Rise, heart, thy lord is risen. Sing his praise
Without delays,
Who takes thee by the hand, that thou likewise
With him may'st rise:
...

As I one ev'ning sat before my cell,
Me thoughts a star did shoot into my lap.
I rose, and shook my clothes, as knowing well,
That from small fires comes oft no small mishap.
...

Love bade me welcome: yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-ey'd Love, observing me grow slack,
From my first entrance in,
...

14.

My stock lies dead and no increase
Doth my dull husbandry improve:
O let thy graces without cease
Drop from above!
...

Philosophers have measur'd mountains,
Fathom'd the depths of the seas, of states, and kings,
Walk'd with a staff to heav'n, and traced fountains:
But there are two vast, spacious things,
...

THROW away Thy rod,
Throw away Thy wrath;
   O my God,
Take the gentle path!
...

I struck the board, and cried, "No more!
I will abroad.
What! shall I ever sigh and pine?
My lines and life are free; free as the road,
...

My God, where is that ancient heat towards thee,
Wherewith whole showls of Martyrs once did burn,
Besides their other flames? Doth Poetry
Wear Venus livery? only serve her turn?
...

Having been tenant long to a rich lord,
Not thriving, I resolved to be bold,
And make a suit unto him, to afford
A new small-rented lease, and cancel the old.
...

20.

Sweet day, so cool, so calm, so bright
The bridal of the earth and sky:
The dew shall weep thy fall tonight,
For thou must die.
...

George Herbert Biography

George Herbert was a Welsh born English poet, orator and Anglican priest. Being born into an artistic and wealthy family, he received a good education that led to his holding prominent positions at Cambridge University and Parliament. As a student at Trinity College, Cambridge, Herbert excelled in languages and music. He went to college with the intention of becoming a priest, but his scholarship attracted the attention of King James I/VI. Herbert served in Parliament for two years. After the death of King James and at the urging of a friend, Herbert's interest in ordained ministry was renewed. In 1630, in his late thirties he gave up his secular ambitions and took holy orders in the Church of England, spending the rest of his life as a rector of the little parish of Fugglestone St Peter with Bemerton St Andrew, near Salisbury. He was noted for unfailing care for his parishioners, bringing the sacraments to them when they were ill, and providing food and clothing for those in need. Henry Vaughan said of him "a most glorious saint and seer". Throughout his life, he wrote religious poems characterized by a precision of language, a metrical versatility, and an ingenious use of imagery or conceits that was favoured by the metaphysical school of poets. Charles Cotton described him as a "soul composed of harmonies". Herbert himself, in a letter to Nicholas Ferrar, said of his writings, "they are a picture of spiritual conflicts between God and my soul before I could subject my will to Jesus, my Master". Some of Herbert's poems have endured as hymns, including "King of Glory, King of Peace" (Praise), "Let All the World in Every Corner Sing" (Antiphon) and "Teach me, my God and King" (The Elixir). His first biographer, Izaak Walton, described Herbert on his death-bed as "composing such hymns and anthems as he and the angels now sing in heaven". A distant relative was the modern Polish poet Zbigniew Herbert Early Life Herbert was born in Montgomery in Wales. His family was wealthy, eminent, intellectual and fond of the arts. His mother Magdalen was a patron and friend of John Donne and other poets; his older brother Edward, later Lord Herbert of Cherbury, was an important poet and philosopher, often referred to as "the father of English deism". Herbert's father Richard Herbert, Lord of Cherbury died when George was three, leaving a widow and ten children. Herbert entered Westminster School at or around the age of 12 where he became a day student. Though sometime after he was elevated to the level of scholar. Herbert later was admitted on scholarship to Trinity College, Cambridge in 1609 where he graduated first with a Bachelors and then with a masters degree in 1613 at the age of 20. After graduating from Westminster School and Trinity College, Cambridge (where he achieved degrees with distinction), Herbert was elected a major fellow of his college. In 1618 he was appointed Reader in Rhetoric at Cambridge and in 1620 he was elected to the post of Cambridge University orator, whose duties would be served by poetic skill. He held this position until 1628. In 1624 he became a Member of Parliament, representing Montgomery. While these positions were suited to a career at court, and James I had shown him favour, circumstances worked against him: the King died in 1625, and two influential patrons of Herbert died later in the decade. However George Herbert's only service to parliament may have already ended in 1624 or since, although a Mr Herbert is mentioned as a committee member, there is no record in the Commons Journal for 1625 of Mr. George Herbert (a distinction carefully made in the records of the preceding parliament). Priesthood He took up his duties in Bemerton, a rural parish in Wiltshire, about 75 miles southwest of London in 1630. Here he preached and wrote poetry; also helping to rebuild the church out of his own funds. In 1633 Herbert finished a collection of poems entitled The Temple, which imitates the architectural style of churches through both the meaning of the words and their visual layout. The themes of God and love are treated by Herbert as much as psychological forces as metaphysical phenomena. Suffering from poor health, Herbert died of tuberculosis only three years after taking holy orders. On his deathbed, he reportedly gave the manuscript of The Temple to Nicholas Ferrar, the founder of a semi-monastic Anglican religious community at Little Gidding (a name best known today through the poem Little Gidding by T.S. Eliot), telling him to publish the poems if he thought they might "turn to the advantage of any dejected poor soul", and otherwise, to burn them. Works In 1633, all of Herbert's poems were published in The Temple: Sacred poems and private ejaculations, edited by Nicholas Ferrar. The book went through eight editions by 1690. Barnabas Oley edited in 1652 Herbert's Remains, or sundry pieces of that Sweet Singer, Mr. George Herbert, containing A Priest to the Temple, or the countrey parson, Jacula Prudentum, &c. Prefixed was an unsigned preface by Oley. The second edition appeared in 1671 as A Priest to the Temple or the Country Parson, with a new preface, signed Barnabas Oley. These pieces were reprinted in later editions of Herbert's Works. The manuscript of The Country Parson was the property of Herbert's friend, Arthur Wodenoth, who gave it to Oley; the prefaces were a source for Izaak Walton's memoir of Herbert. All of Herbert's English surviving poems are religious, and some have been used as hymns, William Cowper said of them I found in them a strain of piety which I could not but admire. They are characterised by directness of expression and some conceits which can appear quaint. Many of the poems have intricate rhyme schemes, and variations of lines within stanzas described as 'a cascade of form floats through the temple'. An example of Herbert’s religious poetry is “The Altar.” A "pattern poem in which the words of the poem itself form a shape suggesting an altar, and this altar becomes his conceit for how one should offer himself as a sacrifice to the Lord. He also makes allusions to scripture, such as Psalm 51:17, where it states that the Lord requires the sacrifice of a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Herbert also wrote A Priest to the Temple (or The Country Parson) offering practical advice to clergy. In it, he advises that "things of ordinary use" such as ploughs, leaven, or dances, could be made to "serve for lights even of Heavenly Truths". His Jacula Prudentium (sometimes seen as Jacula Prudentum), a collection of pithy proverbs published in 1651, included many sayings still repeated today, for example "His bark is worse than his bite." Similarly oft quoted is his Outlandish Proverbs published in 1640. Richard Baxter said, "Herbert speaks to God like one that really believeth a God, and whose business in the world is most with God. Heart-work and heaven-work make up his books". Dame Helen Gardner adds "head-work" because of his "intellectual vivacity". Herbert also wrote poems in Greek and in Latin. The latter mainly concern ceremonial controversy with the Puritans, but include a response to Pope Urban VIII's treatment of the ROMA AMOR anagram. He was also a collector of "Outlandish proverbs", some of which are used in his poem The Sacrifice. and he wrote in many poetic forms, appropriate to their theme,and invented, as it were, to embody them Herbert influenced his fellow metaphysical poet Henry Vaughan who, in turn, influenced William Wordsworth. Herbert's poetry has been set to music by several composers, including Ralph Vaughan Williams, Lennox Berkeley, Benjamin Britten, Judith Weir, Randall Thompson, William Walton and Patrick Larley. Commemorations He is commemorated on 27 February throughout the Anglican Communion and on 1 March of the Calendar of Saints of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Herbert has a window honouring him in Westminster Abbey and a statue in niche 188 on the West Front of Salisbury Cathedral.)

The Best Poem Of George Herbert

Affliction

When thou didst entice to thee my heart,
I thought the service brave:
So many joys I writ down for my part,
Besides what I might have
Out of my stock of natural delights,
Augmented with thy gracious benefits.

I looked on thy furniture so fine,
And made it fine to me:
Thy glorious household-stuff did me entwine,
And 'tice me unto thee.
Such stars I counted mine: both heav'n and earth
Paid me my wages in a world of mirth.

What pleasures could I want, whose King I served?
Where joys my fellows were?
Thus argu'd into hopes, my thoughts reserved
No place for grief or fear.
Therefore my sudden soul caught at the place,
And made her youth and fierceness seek thy face.

At first thou gav'st me milk and sweetnesses;
I had my wish and way:
My days were straw'd with flow'rs and happiness;
There was no month but May.
But with my years sorrow did twist and grow,
And made a party unawares for woe.

My flesh began unto my soul in pain,
Sicknesses cleave my bones;
Consuming agues dwell in ev'ry vein,
And tune my breath to groans.
Sorrow was all my soul; I scarce believed,
Till grief did tell me roundly, that I lived.

When I got health, thou took'st away my life,
And more; for my friends die:
My mirth and edge was lost; a blunted knife
Was of more use than I.
Thus thin and lean without a fence or friend,
I was blown through with ev'ry storm and wind.

Whereas my birth and spirit rather took
The way that takes the town;
Thou didst betray me to a lingering book,
And wrap me in a gown.
I was entangled in the world of strife,
Before I had the power to change my life.

Yet, for I threatened oft the siege to raise,
Not simpring all mine age,
Thou often didst with Academic praise
Melt and dissolve my rage.
I took thy sweetened pill, till I came where
I could not go away, nor persevere.

Yet lest perchance I should too happy be
In my unhappiness,
Turning my purge to food, thou throwest me
Into more sicknesses.
Thus doth thy power cross-bias me; not making
Thine own gift good, yet me from my ways taking.

Now I am here, what thou wilt do with me
None of my books will show:
I read, and sigh, and wish I were a tree;
For sure I then should grow
To fruit or shade: at least some bird would trust
Her household to me, and I should be just.

Yet though thou troublest me, I must be meek;
In weakness must be stout.
Well, I will change the service, and go seek
Some other master out.
Ah my dear God! though I am clean forgot,
Let me not love thee, if I love thee not.

George Herbert Comments

Aprajita Rana 28 March 2009

Mattins was a nice poem

23 24 Reply
lilithi 21 September 2021

1. What attributes does the poet give to the ‘day'?

1 0 Reply
Margie McKinney 09 April 2019

looking for the poem by George Herbert that last lines are" Sin has been hammering my heart Unto a hardness, void of love, Let suppling grace to cross his art Drop from above." Please tell me the name of the poem. Thank you.

5 2 Reply
Muskan 21 June 2018

Nice poem l loved it

4 1 Reply
David Penname 03 January 2012

attila hun tamogin khan gengis tamogin kubla khan kubla hun bonziiiiii tamgin kubla fawn attila hun

26 59 Reply
David Penname 03 January 2012

tamogin bonziii mother child father tribe than came the word bonziii ninjia tamogin bonziiiii attila kub-a-la tamogin hun tamogin attila hun

21 45 Reply

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