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George Herbert Poems

A collection of select George Herbert famous poems that were written by George Herbert or written about the poet by other famous poets. PoetrySoup is a comprehensive educational resource of the greatest poems and poets on history.

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by Herbert, George
 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...Read More

by Herbert, George
 When thou didst entice to thee my heart, 
I thought the service brave: 
So many joys I writ down for my part, 
Besides what I might have
Out of my stock of natural delights, 
Augmented with thy gracious benefits.

I looked on thy furniture so fine, 
And made it fine to me: 
Thy glorious household-stuff did me entwine, 
And 'tice me...Read More

by Herbert, George
 Kill me not ev'ry day, 
Thou Lord of life, since thy one death for me
Is more than all my deaths can be, 
Though I in broken pay
Die over each hour of Methusalem's stay.

If all men's tears were let
Into one common sewer, sea, and brine; 
What were they all, compar'd to thine? 
Wherein if they were set, 
They would discolour...Read More

by Herbert, George
 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....Read More

by Herbert, George
 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...Read More

by Herbert, George
 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...Read More

by Herbert, George
 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...Read More

by Herbert, George
 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...Read More

by Herbert, George
 HERE where the loves of others close
The vision of my heart begins.
The wisdom that within us grows
Is absolution for our sins.

We took forbidden fruit and ate
Far in the garden of His mind.
The ancient prophecies of hate
We proved untrue, for He was kind.

He does not love the bended knees,
The soul made wormlike in His sight,
Within whose heaven are hierarchies
And solar...Read More

by Herbert, George
 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 invention on thine Altar lay,
And there in hymnes send back thy fire...Read More

by Herbert, George
 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...Read More

by Herbert, George
          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
        ...Read More

by Herbert, George
 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...Read More

by Herbert, George
 the yellow legged plovers live at the university and stare down
pale students who dare to walk near them

we like them

they are the smartest things around with their brown caps and stiffish know-it-all walk
god, don't they look like the newly arrived so proud to be here, 

and busy, 

the plovers should have keys and a whistle on a lanyard each...Read More

by Herbert, George
 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...Read More

by Herbert, George
 O that I could a sin once see! 
We paint the devil foul, yet he
Hath some good in him, all agree.
Sin is flat opposite to th' Almighty, seeing
It wants the good of virtue, and of being.

But God more care of us hath had: 
If apparitions make us sad, 
By sight of sin we should grow mad.
Yet as in sleep...Read More

by Herbert, George
 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....Read More

by Herbert, George
 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...Read More

by Herbert, George
 Oh all ye, who pass by, whose eyes and mind
To worldly things are sharp, but to me blind; 
To me, who took eyes that I might you find: 
Was ever grief like mine? 

The Princes of my people make a head
Against their Maker: they do wish me dead, 
Who cannot wish, except I give them bread: 
Was ever grief...Read More

by Herbert, George
Love built a stately house, where Fortune came,
And spinning fancies, she was heard to say
That her fine cobwebs did support the frame,
Whereas they were supported by the same;
But Wisdom quickly swept them all away.

The Pleasure came, who, liking not the fashion,
Began to make balconies, terraces,
Till she had weakened all by alteration;
But reverend laws, and many a proclomation
Reform?d all at length...Read More