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.
A hollow winde did seem to answer, No :
Go seek elsewhere.
I did ; and going did a rainbow note :
Surely, thought I,
This is the lace of Peaces coat :
I will search out the matter.
But while I lookt, the clouds immediately
Did break and scatter.
Then went I to a garden, and did spy
A gallant flower,
The crown Imperiall : Sure, said I,
Peace at the root must dwell.
But when I digg’d, I saw a worm devoure
What show’d so well.
At length I met a rev’rend good old man :
Whom when of Peace
I did demand, he thus began ;
There was a Prince of old
At Salem dwelt, who liv’d with good increase
Of flock and fold.
He sweetly liv’d ; yet sweetnesse did not save
His life from foes.
But after death out of his grave
There sprang twelve stalks of wheat :
Which many wondring at, got some of those
To plant and set.
It prosper’d strangely, and did soon disperse
Through all the earth :
For they that taste it do rehearse,
That vertue lies therein ;
A secret vertue bringing peace and mirth
By flight of sinne.
Take of this grain, which in my garden grows,
And grows for you ;
Make bread of it : and that repose
And peace, which ev’ry where
With so much earnestnesse you do pursue
Is onely there.
Herbert, George. The Poetical Works of George Herbert.
New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1857. 159-161.
Engraving designed by Birket Foster ; engraved by Edmund Evans.
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