George Herbert

The Temple

The Church

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George Herbert (1593-1633)

The Temple

The Church


Peace mutt’ring thoughts, and do not grudge to keep
Within the walls of your own breast:
Who cannot on his own bed sweetly sleep,
Can on anothers hardly rest.

Gad not abroad at ev’ry quest and call
Of an untrained hope or passion.
To court each place or fortune that doth fall,
Is wantonnesse in contemplation.

Mark how the fire in flints doth quiet lie,
Content and warm t’ it self alone:
But when it would appeare to others eye,
Without a knock it never shone.

Give me the pliant minde, whose gentle measure
Complies and suits with all estates;
Which can let loose to a crown, and yet with pleasure
Take up within a cloisters gates.

This soul doth span the world, and hang content
From either pole unto the centre:
Where in each room of the well-furnisht tent
He lies warm, and without adventure.

The brags of life are but a nine dayes wonder;
And after death the fumes that spring
From private bodies, make as big a thunder,
As those which rise from a huge King.

Onely thy Chronicle is lost; and yet
Better by worms be all once spent,
Then to have hellish moths still gnaw and fret
Thy name in books, which may not rent.

When all thy deeds, whose brunt thou feel’st alone,
Are chaw’d by others pens and tongue;
And as their wit is, their digestion,
Thy nourisht fame is weak or strong.

Then cease discoursing soul, till thine own ground,
Do not thy self or friends importune.
He that by seeking hath himself once found,
Hath euer found a happie fortune.

The Church
Trinitie Sunday

The Church
The Quidditie