SEPULCHRE

O blessed body! whither art thou thrown?
No lodging for thee, but a cold hard stone?
So many hearts on earth, and yet not one
                                                  Receive thee ?


Sure there is room within our hearts good store;
For they can lodge transgressions by the score:
Thousands of toys dwell there, yet out of door
                                                  They leave thee.

But that which shows them large, shows them unfit.
Whatever sin did this pure rock commit,
Which holds thee now? Who hath indited it
                                                  Of murder?

Where our hard hearts took up of stones to brain thee,
And missing this, most falsely did arraign thee;
Only these stones in quiet entertain thee,
                                                  And order.

And as of old, the Law by heavenly art
Was writ in stone; so thou, which also art
The letter of the word, find'st no fit heart
                                                  To hold thee.


Yet do we still persist as we began,
And so should perish, but that nothing can,
Though it be cold, hard, foul, from loving man
                                                  Withhold thee.


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

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