George Herbert


WHO sayes that fictions onely and false hair
Become a verse ?  Is there in truth no beautie ?
Is all good structure in a winding stair ?
May no lines passe, except they do their dutie
        Not to a true, but painted chair ?

Is it not verse, except enchanted groves
And sudden arbours shadow course-spunne lines ?
Must purling streams refresh a lovers loves ?
Must all be vail’d, while he that reades, divines,
        Catching the sense at two removes ?

Shepherds are honest people ;  let them sing :
Riddle who list, for me, and pull for Prime :
I envie no mans nightingale or spring ;
Nor let them punish me with losse of ryme,
        Who plainly say, My God, My King.

Herbert, George. The Poetical Works of George Herbert.
New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1857. 68-69.

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