George Herbert


When first my lines of heav'nly joyes made mention,
Such was their lustre, they did so excell,
That I sought out quaint words, and trim invention ;
My thoughts began to burnish, sprout, and swell,
Curling with metaphors a plain intention,
Decking the sense, as if it were to sell.

Thousands of notions in my brain did runne,
Off'ring their service, if I were not sped :
I often blotted what I had begunne ;
This was not quick enough, and that was dead.
Nothing could seem too rich to clothe the sunne,
Much lesse those joyes which trample on his head.

As flames do work and winde, when they ascend,
So did I weave my self into the sense.
But while I bustled, I might heare a friend
Whisper, How wide is all this long pretence !
There is in love a sweetnesse readie penn'd :
Copie out only that, and save expense.

Herbert, George. The English Poems of George Herbert. C. A. Patrides, ed.
London: J. M. Dent & Sons Ltd., 1974. Repr. 1991. 116-117.

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