George Herbert

The Temple

The Church
The Rose

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George Herbert (1593-1633)

The Temple

The Church

The Rose

Presse me not to take more pleasure
In this world of sugred lies,
And to use a larger measure
Then my strict, yet welcome size.

First, there is no pleasure here:
Colour’d griefs indeed there are,
Blushing woes, that look as cleare
As if they could beautie spare.

Or if such deceits there be,
Such delights I meant to say;
There are no such things to me,
Who have pass’d my right away.

But I will not much oppose
Unto what you now advise;
Onely take this gentle rose,
And therein my answer lies.

What is fairer then a rose?
What is sweeter? yet it purgeth.
Purgings enmitie disclose,
Enmitie forbearance urgeth.

If then all that worldlings prize
Be contracted to a rose;
Sweetly there indeed it lies,
But it biteth in the close.

So this flower doth judge and sentence
Worldly joyes to be a scourge:
For they all produce repentance,
And repentance is a purge.

But I health, not physick choose:
Onely though I you oppose,
Say that fairly I refuse,
For my answer is a rose.

The Church
The Forerunner

The Church