LOVE - 1

Part I

Immortal Love, author of this great frame,
   Sprung from that beauty which can never fade;
   How hath man parcell'd out thy glorious name,
And thrown it on that dust which thou hast made,

While mortal love doth all the title gain!
   Which siding with invention, they together
   Bear all the sway, possessing heart and brain
(Thy workmanship), and give thee share in neither.

Wit fancies beauty, beauty raiseth wit:
   The world is theirs; they two play out the game,
   Thou standing by: and though thy glorious name
Wrought our deliverance from th' infernal pit,

   Who sings thy praise? only a scarf or glove
   Doth warm our hands, and make them write of love.


Part II

Immortal Heat, O let thy greater flame
   Attract the lesser to it: let those fires
   Which shall consume the world, first make it tame,
And kindle in our hearts such true desires,

As may consume our lusts, and make thee way.
   Then shall our hearts pant thee; then shall our brain
   All her inventions on thine Altar lay,
And there in hymns send back thy fire again:

Our eyes shall see thee, which before saw dust;
   Dust blown by wit, till that they both were blind:
   Thou shalt recover all thy goods in kind,
Who wert disseized by usurping lust.

   All knees shall bow to thee; all wits shall rise,
   And praise Him who did make and mend our eyes.


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

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