Not in rich furniture, or fine array,
Nor in a wedge of gold,
Thou, who from me wast sold,
To me dost now thyself convey;
For so thou should'st without me still have been,
Leaving within me sin:
But by the way of nourishment and strength,
Thou creep'st into my breast;
Making thy way my rest,
And thy small quantities my length;
Which spread their forces into every part,
Meeting sin's force and art.
Yet can these not get over to my soul,
Leaping the wall that parts
Our souls and fleshly hearts;
But as th' outworks, they may control
My rebel-flesh, and, carrying thy name,
Affright both sin and shame.
Only thy grace, which with these elements comes,
Knoweth the ready way,
And hath the privy key,
Opening the soul's most subtile rooms:
While those to spirits refined, at door attend
Despatches from their friend.
Give me my captive soul, or take
My body also thither.
Another lift like this will make
Them both to be together.
Before that sin turn'd flesh to stone,
And all our lump to leaven;
A fervent sigh might well have blown
Our innocent earth to heaven.
For sure, when Adam did not know
To sin, or sin to smother;
He might to heaven from Paradise go,
As from one room t' another.
Thou hast restored us to this ease
By this thy heavenly blood,
Which I can go to, when I please,
And leave th' earth to their food.
by George Herbert 1593-1633
source: The Poetical Works Of George Herbert, ed. George Gilfillan. Edinburgh: James Nichol, 1853
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