George Herbert


THE TEMPER. (I)

HOW should I praise thee, Lord !  how should my rymes
    Gladly engrave thy love in steel,
    If what my soul doth feel sometimes,
            My soul might ever feel !

Although there were some fourtie heavíns, or more,
    Sometimes I peere above them all ;
    Sometimes I hardly reach a score,
            Sometimes to hell I fall.

O rack me not to such a vast extent ;
    Those distances belong to thee :
    The worldís too little for thy tent,
            A grave too big for me.

Wilt thou meet arms with man, that thou dost stretch
    A crumme of dust from heavín to hell ?
    Will great God measure with a wretch ?
            Shall he thy stature spell ?

O let me, when thy roof my soul hath hid,
    O let me roost and nestle there :
    Then of a sinner thou art rid,
            And I of hope and fear.

Yet take thy way ;  for sure thy way is best :
    Stretch or contract me thy poore debter :
    This is but tuning of my breast,
            To make the musick better.

Whether I flie with angels, fall with dust,
    Thy hands made both, and I am there.
    Thy power and love, my love and trust,
            Make one place evíry where.




Source:
Herbert, George. The Poetical Works of George Herbert.
New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1857. 66-67.


Backto Works of George Herbert


Site ©1996-2001 Anniina Jokinen. All Rights Reserved.
Created by Anniina Jokinen on July 31, 2001.