by Robert Herrick

LORD, Thou hast given me a cell
                  Wherein to dwell ;
And little house, whose humble roof
                  Is weather-proof ;
Under the spars of which I lie
                  Both soft and dry ;
Where Thou my chamber for to ward
                  Hast set a guard
Of harmless thoughts, to watch and keep
                  Me, while I sleep.
Low is my porch, as is my fate,
                  Both void of state ;
And yet the threshold of my door
                  Is worn by th' poor,
Who thither come, and freely get
                  Good words or meat ;
Like as my parlour, so my hall
                  And kitchen's small ;
A little buttery, and therein
                  A little bin
Which keeps my little loaf of bread
                  Unclipt, unflead.
Some little sticks of thorn or briar
                  Make me a fire,
Close by whose living coal I sit,
                  And glow like it.
Lord, I confess, too, when I dine,
                  The pulse is Thine,
And all those other bits, that be
                  There placed by Thee ;
The worts, the purslain, and the mess
                  Of water-cress,
Which of Thy kindness Thou hast sent ;
                  And my content
Makes those, and my beloved beet,
                  To be more sweet.
'Tis Thou that crown'st my glittering hearth
                  With guiltless mirth ;
And giv'st me wassail bowls to drink,
                  Spiced to the brink.
Lord, 'tis Thy plenty-dropping hand,
                  That soils my land ;
And giv'st me for my bushel sown,
                  Twice ten for one.
Thou mak'st my teeming hen to lay
                  Her egg each day ;
Besides my healthful ewes to bear
                  Me twins each year,
The while the conduits of my kine
                  Run cream for wine.
All these, and better Thou dost send
                  Me, to this end,
That I should render, for my part,
                  A thankful heart ;
Which, fired with incense, I resign,
                  As wholly Thine ;
But the acceptance, that must be,
                  My Christ, by Thee.

Unflead, lit. unflay'd. [AJ Note: bug-eaten]
Purslain, and herb.

Herrick, Robert. Works of Robert Herrick. vol II.
Alfred Pollard, ed.
London, Lawrence & Bullen, 1891. 183-184.

Backto Works of Robert Herrick

Site copyright ©1996-2001 Anniina Jokinen. All Rights Reserved.
Created by Anniina Jokinen on April 16, 2001.

Background from a tile by Stormi Wallpaper Boutique.