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Best Famous George Herbert Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous George Herbert poems. This is a select list of the best famous George Herbert poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous George Herbert poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of George Herbert poems.

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Written by George Herbert | Create an image from this poem

Man

          My God, I heard this day
That none doth build a stately habitation,
     But he that means to dwell therein.
What house more stately hath there been, Or can be, than is Man? to whose creation All things are in decay.
For Man is every thing, And more: he is a tree, yet bears more fruit; A beast, yet is or should be more: Reason and speech we only bring.
Parrots may thank us, if they are not mute, They go upon the score.
Man is all symmetry, Full of proportions, one limb to another, And all to all the world besides: Each part may call the furthest, brother; For head with foot hath private amity, And both with moons and tides.
Nothing hath got so far, But man hath caught and kept it, as his prey.
His eyes dismount the highest star: He is in little all the sphere.
Herbs gladly cure our flesh, because that they Find their acquaintance there.
For us the winds do blow, The earth doth rest, heaven move, and fountains flow.
Nothing we see but means our good, As our delight or as our treasure: The whole is either our cupboard of food, Or cabinet of pleasure.
The stars have us to bed; Night draws the curtain, which the sun withdraws; Music and light attend our head.
All things unto our flesh are kind In their descent and being; to our mind In their ascent and cause.
Each thing is full of duty: Waters united are our navigation; Distinguishèd, our habitation; Below, our drink; above, our meat; Both are our cleanliness.
Hath one such beauty? Then how are all things neat? More servants wait on Man Than he'll take notice of: in every path He treads down that which doth befriend him When sickness makes him pale and wan.
O mighty love! Man is one world, and hath Another to attend him.
Since then, my God, thou hast So brave a palace built, O dwell in it That it may dwell with thee at last! Till then, afford us so much wit, That, as the world serves us, we may serve thee, And both thy servants be.
Written by George Herbert | Create an image from this poem

Nature

 Full of rebellion, I would die, 
Or fight, or travel, or deny
That thou has aught to do with me.
O tame my heart; It is thy highest art To captivate strong holds to thee.
If thou shalt let this venom lurk, And in suggestions fume and work, My soul will turn to bubbles straight, And thence by kind Vanish into a wind, Making thy workmanship deceit.
O smooth my rugged heart, and there Engrave thy rev'rend law and fear; Or make a new one, since the old Is sapless grown, And a much fitter stone To hide my dust, than thee to hold.
Written by George Herbert | Create an image from this poem

Redemption

 Having been tenant long to a rich lord, 
Not thriving, I resolved to be bold, 
And make a suit unto him, to afford 
A new small-rented lease, and cancel the old.
In heaven at his manor I him sought; They told me there that he was lately gone About some land, which he had dearly bought Long since on earth, to take possession.
I straight returned, and knowing his great birth, Sought him accordingly in great resorts; In cities, theaters, gardens, parks, and courts; At length I heard a ragged noise and mirth Of thieves and murderers; there I him espied, Who straight, Your suit is granted, said, and died.
Written by George Herbert | Create an image from this poem

Easter Wings

 Lord, who createdst man in wealth and store,
  Though foolishly he lost the same,
   Decaying more and more,
     Till he became
      Most poor:
      With thee
     O let me rise
    As larks, harmoniously, 
  And sing this day thy victories:
 Then shall the fall further the flight in me.
My tender age in sorrow did begin: And still with sicknesses and shame Thou didst so punish sin, That I became Most thin.
With thee Let me combine And feel this day thy victory: For, if I imp my wing on thine, Affliction shall advance the flight in me.
Written by George Herbert | Create an image from this poem

Easter Song

 I Got me flowers to straw Thy way, 
I got me boughs off many a tree; 
But Thou wast up by break of day, 
And brought’st Thy sweets along with Thee.
The sunne arising in the East, Though he give light, and th’ East perfume, If they should offer to contest With Thy arising, they presume.
Can there be any day but this, Though many sunnes to shine endeavour? We count three hundred, but we misse: There is but one, and that one ever.
Written by George Herbert | Create an image from this poem

Sonnet (II)

 Sure Lord, there is enough in thee to dry 
Oceans of Ink ; for, as the Deluge did 
Cover the Earth, so doth thy Majesty : 
Each Cloud distills thy praise, and doth forbid 
Poets to turn it to another use.
Roses and Lillies speak thee ; and to make A pair of Cheeks of them, is thy abuse.
Why should I Womens eyes for Chrystal take? Such poor invention burns in their low mind, Whose fire is wild, and doth not upward go To praise, and on thee Lord, some Ink bestow.
Open the bones, and you shall nothing find In the best face but filth, when Lord, in thee The beauty lies, in the discovery
Written by George Herbert | Create an image from this poem

Bitter-Sweet

 Ah, my dear angry Lord,
Since thou dost love, yet strike;
Cast down, yet help afford;
Sure I will do the like.
I will complain, yet praise; I will bewail, approve; And all my sour-sweet days I will lament and love.
Written by George Herbert | Create an image from this poem

The Dawning

 Awake, sad heart, whom sorrow ever drowns ;
Take up thine eyes, which feed on earth ;
Unfold thy forehead, gathered into frowns ;
Thy Saviour comes, and with Him mirth :
Awake, awake,
And with a thankful heart His comforts take.
But thou dost still lament, and pine, and cry, And feel His death, but not His victory.
Arise, sad heart ; if thou dost not withstand, Christ's resurrection thine may be ; Do not by hanging down break from the hand Which, as it riseth, raiseth thee : Arise, Arise; And with His burial linen drie thine eyes.
Christ left His grave-clothes, that we might, when grief Draws tears or blood, not want a handkerchief.
Written by George Herbert | Create an image from this poem

A Dialogue

 Man.
SWEETEST Saviour, if my soul Were but worth the having, Quickly should I then control Any thought of waving.
But when all my care and pains Cannot give the name of gains To Thy wretch so full of stains, What delight or hope remains? Saviour.
What, child, is the balance thine, Thine the poise and measure? If I say, 'Thou shalt be Mine,' Finger not My treasure.
What the gains in having thee Do amount to, only He Who for man was sold can see; That transferr'd th' accounts to Me.
Man.
But as I can see no merit Leading to this favour, So the way to fit me for it Is beyond my savour.
As the reason, then, is Thine, So the way is none of mine; I disclaim the whole design; Sin disclaims and I resign.
Saviour.
That is all: if that I could Get without repining; And My clay, My creature, would Follow My resigning; That as I did freely part With My glory and desert, Left all joys to feel all smart---- Man.
Ah, no more! Thou break'st my heart!
Written by George Herbert | Create an image from this poem

Love (III)

 Love bade me welcome: yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-ey'd Love, observing me grow slack, From my first entrance in, Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning, If I lack'd anything.
A guest, I answer'd, worthy to be here: Love said, You shall be he.
I the unkind, ungrateful? Ah my dear, I cannot look on thee.
Love took my hand, and smiling did reply, Who made the eyes but I? Truth Lord, but I have marr'd them: let my shame Go where it doth deserve.
And know you not, says Love, who bore the blame? My dear, then I will serve.
You must sit down, says Love, and tast me meat: So I did sit and eat.
Written by George Herbert | Create an image from this poem

The Thanksgiving

 Oh King of grief! (a title strange, yet true, 
To thee of all kings only due) 
Oh King of wounds! how shall I grieve for thee, 
Who in all grief preventest me? 
Shall I weep blood? why thou has wept such store
That all thy body was one door.
Shall I be scourged, flouted, boxed, sold? 'Tis but to tell the tale is told.
'My God, my God, why dost thou part from me? ' Was such a grief as cannot be.
Shall I then sing, skipping, thy doleful story, And side with thy triumphant glory? Shall thy strokes be my stroking? thorns, my flower? Thy rod, my posy? cross, my bower? But how then shall I imitate thee, and Copy thy fair, though bloody hand? Surely I will revenge me on thy love, And try who shall victorious prove.
If thou dost give me wealth, I will restore All back unto thee by the poor.
If thou dost give me honour, men shall see, The honour doth belong to thee.
I will not marry; or, if she be mine, She and her children shall be thine.
My bosom friend, if he blaspheme thy name, I will tear thence his love and fame.
One half of me being gone, the rest I give Unto some Chapel, die or live.
As for thy passion - But of that anon, When with the other I have done.
For thy predestination I'll contrive, That three years hence, if I survive, I'll build a spittle, or mend common ways, But mend mine own without delays.
Then I will use the works of thy creation, As if I us'd them but for fashion.
The world and I will quarrel; and the year Shall not perceive, that I am here.
My music shall find thee, and ev'ry string Shall have his attribute to sing; That all together may accord in thee, And prove one God, one harmony.
If thou shalt give me wit, it shall appear; If thou hast giv'n it me, 'tis here.
Nay, I will read thy book, and never move Till I have found therein thy love; Thy art of love, which I'll turn back on thee, O my dear Saviour, Victory! Then for thy passion - I will do for that - Alas, my God, I know not what.
Written by George Herbert | Create an image from this poem

H. Baptism

 As he that sees a dark and shady grove, 
Stays not, but looks beyond it on the sky; 
So when I view my sins, mine eyes remove
More backward still, and to that water fly, 
Which is above the heav'ns, whose spring and rest 
Is in my dear Redeemer's pierced side.
O blessed streams! either ye do prevent And stop our sins from growing thick and wide, Or else give tears to drown them, as they grow.
In you Redemption measures all my time, And spreads the plaster equal to the crime; You taught the book of life my name, that so What ever future sins should me miscall, Your first acquaintance might discredit all.
Written by George Herbert | Create an image from this poem

Lent

 Welcome dear feast of Lent: who loves not thee, 
He loves not Temperance, or Authority, 
But is compos'd of passion.
The Scriptures bid us fast; the Church says, now: Give to thy Mother, what thou wouldst allow To ev'ry Corporation.
The humble soul compos'd of love and fear Begins at home, and lays the burden there, When doctrines disagree, He says, in things which use hath justly got, I am a scandal to the Church, and not The Church is so to me.
True Christians should be glad of an occasion To use their temperance, seeking no evasion, When good is seasonable; Unless Authority, which should increase The obligation in us, make it less, And Power itself disable.
Besides the cleanness of sweet abstinence, Quick thoughts and motions at a small expense, A face not fearing light: Whereas in fulness there are sluttish fumes, Sour exhalations, and dishonest rheums, Revenging the delight.
Then those same pendant profits, which the spring And Easter intimate, enlarge the thing, And goodness of the deed.
Neither ought other men's abuse of Lent Spoil the good use; lest by that argument We forfeit all our Creed.
It's true, we cannot reach Christ's forti'eth day; Yet to go part of that religious way, Is better than to rest: We cannot reach our Saviour's purity; Yet we are bid, 'Be holy ev'n as he, ' In both let's do our best.
Who goeth in the way which Christ hath gone, Is much more sure to meet with him, than one That travelleth by-ways: Perhaps my God, though he be far before, May turn and take me by the hand, and more: May strengthen my decays.
Yet Lord instruct us to improve our fast By starving sin and taking such repast, As may our faults control: That ev'ry man may revel at his door, Not in his parlour; banqueting the poor, And among those his soul.
Written by George Herbert | Create an image from this poem

Denial

 When my devotions could not pierce 
Thy silent ears; 
Then was my heart broken, as was my verse: 
My breast was full of fears 
And disorder: 

My bent thoughts, like a brittle bow, 
Did fly asunder: 
Each took his way; some would to pleasures go, 
Some to the wars and thunder 
Of alarms.
As good go any where, they say, As to benumb Both knees and heart, in crying night and day, Come, come, my God, O come, But no hearing.
O that thou shouldst give dust a tongue To cry to thee, And then not hear it crying! all day long My heart was in my knee, But no hearing.
Therefore my soul lay out of sight, Untuned, unstrung: My feeble spirit, unable to look right, Like a nipped blossom, hung Discontented.
O cheer and tune my heartless breast, Defer no time; That so thy favors granting my request, They and my mind may chime, And mend my rime.
Written by George Herbert | Create an image from this poem

The Flower

 Once in a golden hour
I cast to earth a seed.
Up there came a flower, The people said, a weed.
To and fro they went Thro' my garden bower, And muttering discontent Cursed me and my flower.
Then it grew so tall It wore a crown of light, But thieves from o'er the wall Stole the seed by night.
Sow'd it far and wide By every town and tower, Till all the people cried, "Splendid is the flower!" Read my little fable: He that runs may read.
Most can raise the flowers now, For all have got the seed.
And some are pretty enough, And some are poor indeed; And now again the people Call it but a weed.