Tuesday, March 1, 2011

"A Pastor Of Souls, A Poet, and A Priest In Your Temple"

The commemoration of George Herbert (1593-1633), which I duly observe each February 27, my birthday, got lost in the shuffle this year since February 27 was a Sunday. Nevertheless, I feel at least a token nod should be given him, and I can think of no better way than to share with you one of my very favorite poems of his: Love III.

 Love bade me welcome, yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-ey'd Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
If I lack'd anything.

"A guest," I answer'd, "worthy to be here";
Love said, "You shall be he."
"I, the unkind, the 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 marr'd 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.

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