THE SINNER


Lord, how I am all ague, when I seek
        What I have treasured in my memory!
        Since, if my soul make even with the week,
Each seventh note by right is due to thee.

I find there quarries of piled vanities,
        But shreds of holiness, that dare not venture
        To show their face, since cross to thy decrees:
There the circumference earth is, heaven the centre.

In so much dregs the quintessence is small:
        The spirit and good extract of my heart
        Comes to about the many hundredth part.
Yet, Lord, restore thine image, hear my call:

        And though my hard heart scarce to thee can groan,
        Remember that thou once didst write in stone.


by George Herbert 1593-1633
source: The Poetical Works Of George Herbert, ed. George Gilfillan. Edinburgh: James Nichol, 1853

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