EMPLOYMENT - 1

If as a flower doth spread and die,
Thou wouldst extend me to some good,
Before I were by frost's extremity
               Nipt in the bud;

The sweetness and the praise were thine;
But the extension and the room,
Which in thy garland I should fill, were mine
               At thy great doom.

For as thou dost impart thy grace,
The greater shall our glory be.
The measure of our joys is in this place,
               The stuff with thee.

Let me not languish then, and spend
A life as barren to thy praise
As is the dust, to which that life doth tend,
               But with delays.

All things are busy: only I
Neither bring honey with the bees,
Nor flowers to make that, nor the husbandry
               To water these.

I am no link of thy great chain,
But all my company is a weed.
Lord, place me in thy consort; give one strain
               To my poor reed.

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

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