Tag Archives: george herbert

‘The Agonie’, George Herbert

From The Temple (1633), a compilation of Herbert’s poetry:

Philosophers have measur’d mountains,
Fathom’d the depths of seas, of states, and kings,
Walk’d with a staffe to heav’n, and traced fountains:
But there are two vast, spacious things,
The which to measure it doth more behove:
Yet few there are that sound them; Sinne and Love.

Who would know Sinne, let him repair
Unto mount Olivet; there shall he see
A man so wrung with pains, that all his hair,
His skinne, his garments bloudie be.
Sinne is that presse and vice, which forceth pain
To hunt his cruell food through ev’ry vein.

Who knows not Love, let him assay
And taste that juice, which on the crosse a pike
Did set again abroach; then let him say
If ever he did taste the like.
Love in that liquour sweet and most divine,
Which my God feels as bloud; but I, as wine.

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“My Life Is Hid”

Colossians 3:3

Our life is hid with Christ in God.

MY words and thoughts do both express this notion,
That LIFE hath with the sun a double motion.
The first IS straight, and our diurnal friend:
The other HID, and doth obliquely bend.
One life is wrapt IN flesh, and tends to earth;
The other winds t’wards HIM whose happy birth
Taught me to live here so THAT still one eye
Should aim and shoot at that which IS on high –
Quitting with daily labour all MY pleasure,
To gain at harvest an eternal TREASURE.

– George Herbert