Almighty Judge, how shall poor wretches brook
             Thy dreadful look,
Able a heart of iron to appal,
             When thou shalt call
      For every man's peculiar book?

What others mean to do, I know not well;
             Yet I hear tell,
That some will turn thee to some leaves therein
             So void of sin,
      That they in merit shall excel.

But I resolve, when thou shalt call for mine,
             That to decline,
And thrust a Testament into thy hand:
             Let that be scann'd.
      There thou shalt find my faults are thine.

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

Previous | Contents | Next