NATURE

Full of rebellion, I would die,
Or fight, or travel, or deny
That thou hast aught to do with me.
                                        O tame my heart;
                              It is thy highest art
To captivate strong holds to thee.

If thou shalt let this venom lurk,
And in suggestions fume and work,
My soul will turn to bubbles straight,
                                        And thence by kind
                              Vanish into a wind,
Making thy workmanship deceit.

O smooth my rugged heart, and there
Engrave thy reverend law and fear;
Or make a new one, since the old
                                        Is sapless grown,
                              And a much fitter stone
To hide my dust, than thee to hold.


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

Previous | Contents | Next