Saturday, April 6, 2013


Why do I languish, thus, drooping and dull,
                    As if I were all earth?
O give me quickness, that I may with mirth
                          Praise thee brimfull!

The wanton lover in a curious strain
                   Can praise his fairest fair;
And with quaint metaphors her curled hair
                           Curl o'er again.

Thou art my loveliness, my life, my light,
                   Beauty alone to me:
Thy bloody death and undeserved, makes thee
                          Pure red and white.

When all perfections as but one appear,
                    That those thy form doth show,
The very dust, where thou dost tread and go,
                           Makes beauties here;

Where are my lines then? my approaches? views?
                    Where are my window-songs?
Lovers are still pretending, and ev'n wrongs
                            Sharpen their Muse:

But I am lost in flesh, whose sugared lies
                   Still mock me, and grow bold;
Sure thou didst put a mind there, if I could
                           Find where it lies.

Lord, clear thy gift, that with a constant wit
                    I may but look towards thee:
Look only; for to love thee, who can be,
                            What angel fit?
—George Herbert, The Complete English Poems (New York: Penguin Classics, 1991), 107–108.

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