Lord, I confess my sin is great:
Great is my sin. Oh! gently treat
With thy quick flower, thy momentary bloom ;
Whose life still pressing
Is one undressing,
A steady aiming at a tomb.
Man's age is two hours' work, or three;
Each day doth round about us see.
Thus are we to delights: but we are all
To sorrows old,
If life be told
From what life feeleth, Adam's fall.
O let thy height of mercy then
Compassionate short-breathed men,
Cut me not off for my most foul transgression:
I do confess
My God, accept of my confession.
Sweeten at length this bitter bowl,
Which thou hast pour'd into my soul;
Thy wormwood turn to health, winds to fair weather;
For if thou stay,
I and this day,
As we did rise, we die together.
by George Herbert 1593-1633
source: The Poetical Works Of George Herbert, ed. George Gilfillan. Edinburgh: James Nichol, 1853
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