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By George Herbert

Love bade me welcome. Yet my soul drew back

                              Guilty of dust and sin.

But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack

                             From my first entrance in,

Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning,

                             If I lacked any thing.

 

A guest, I answered, worthy to be here:

                             Love said, You shall be he.

I the unkind, ungrateful? Ah my dear,

                             I cannot look on thee.

Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,

                             Who made the eyes but I?

 

Truth Lord, but I have marred them: let my shame

                             Go where it doth deserve.

And know you not, says Love, who bore the blame?

                             My dear, then I will serve.

You must sit down, says Love, and taste my meat:

                             So I did sit and eat.


Source: George Herbert and the Seventeenth-Century Religious Poets  (W. W. Norton and Company, Inc., 1978)

  • Love
  • Relationships
  • Religion

Poet Bio

George Herbert
While George Herbert’s early adult life centered around the secular world of the university, his later dedication to Christianity and to poetry have had a lasting effect on literature. His mother was well acquainted with John Donne, with whose work Herbert’s is often associated. Herbert’s poetry, although often formally experimental, is always passionate, searching, and elegant.

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