Russian /English << >>English /Russian
Deutsch/English << >>English only

George Herbert
1593-1633


BOOKS on-line


Love bade me welcome

Prayer, the Churchs banquet, Angels age
Denial
Sin's Round
Love(1)
Love(2)

1 Love bade me welcome, yet my soul drew back,
2 Guilty of dust and sin.
3 But quick-ey'd Love, observing me grow slack
4 From my first entrance in,
5 Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
6 If I lack'd anything.

7 "A guest," I answer'd, "worthy to be here";
8 Love said, "You shall be he."
9 "I, the unkind, the ungrateful? ah my dear,
10 I cannot look on thee."
11 Love took my hand and smiling did reply,
12 "Who made the eyes but I?"

13 "Truth, Lord, but I have marr'd them; let my shame
14 Go where it doth deserve."
15 "And know you not," says Love, "who bore the blame?"
16 "My dear, then I will serve."
17 "You must sit down," says Love, "and taste my meat."
18 So I did sit and eat.


Prayer, the Churchs banquet, Angels age,
Gods breath in man returning to his birth,
The soul in paraphrase, heart in pilgrimage,
The Christian plummet, sounding heavn and earth;
Engine against th Almighty, sinners tower,
Reversed thunder, Christ-side-piercing spear,
The six-days world transposing in an hour,
A kind of tune, which all things hear and fear;
Softness, and peace, and joy, and love and bliss,
Exalted manna, gladness of the best,
Heaven in ordinary, man well drest,
The milky way, the bird of Paradise,
Church-bells beyond the stars heard, the souls blood,
The land of spices; something understood.


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.


Sin's Round

SORRY I am, my God, sorry I am,
That my offences course it in a ring.
My thoughts are working like a busy flame,
Until their cockatrice they hatch and bring:
And when they once have perfected their draughts,
My words take fire from my inflamed thoughts.
My words take fire from my inflamed thoughts,
Which spit it forth like the Sicilian hill.
They vent their wares, and pass them with their faults,
And by their breathing ventilate the ill.
But words suffice not, where are lewd intentions:
My hands do join to finish the inventions.
My hands do join to finish the inventions:
And so my sins ascend three stories high,
As Babel grew, before there were dissentions.
Let ill deeds loiter not: for they supply
New thoughts of sinning: wherefore, to my shame,
Sorry I am, my God, sorry I am.


Love(1)

Immortal Love, author of this great frame,
Sprung from that beautywhich can never fade;
How hath man parceled 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 heaart and brain,
(Thy workmanship!) and give thee share in neither.
Wit fancies beauty, eauty raiseth wit:
The world is their; they two play out the game,
Thou standing by: and though thy glorious name
Wrought our deliverance from th infernal pit,
Who signs thy praise? only a scarf or glove
Doth warm our hands, and make them write of love.


Love (2)

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 or brain
All her invention 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 never recover all thy goods in kind,
Who wert diseased by usurping lust:
All knees shall bow to thee; all wits shall rise,
And praise him wo did make and mend our eyes.

 



BOOKS on-line


2000 Elena and Yacov Feldman