George Herbert


BROKEN in pieces all asunder,
                Lord, hunt me not,
                A thing forgot,
Once a poor creature, now a wonder,
       A wonder tortured in the space
       Betwixt this world and that of grace.

My thoughts are all a case of knives,
                Wounding my heart
                With scattered smart ;
As wat'ring-pots give flowers their lives.
       Nothing their fury can control,
       While they do wound and prick my soul.

All my attendants are at strife
                Quitting their place
                Unto my face :
Nothing performs the task of life :
       The elements are let loose to fight,
       And while I live, try out their right.

Oh help, my God !  let not their plot
                Kill them and me,
                And also Thee,
Who art my life : dissolve the knot,
       As the sun scatters by his light
       All the rebellions of the night.

Then shall those powers which work for grief,
                Enter Thy pay,
                And day by day
Labour Thy praise and my relief :
       With care and courage building me,
        Till I reach heav'n, and much more, Thee.

Herbert, George. The Works of George Herbert in Prose and Verse.
New York: John Wurtele Lovell, 1881. 178-179.

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