Sunday, March 15, 2015

Quick-Eyed Love

Love bade me welcome; yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
If I lacked anything.

"A guest," I answered "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 marred 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 taste my meat."
So I did sit and eat.

-- George Herbert 

3 comments:

  1. Enchanting. Somehow great poetry always takes one by surprise, like an unexpected glimpse of something startlingly beautiful.

    I wondered if these lyrical words had perhaps been set to music, and they have! There's a lovely rendition on youtube, performed by a boys' choir, with music by a composer named David Hurd. (There is another, perhaps better known, setting by Ralph Vaughan Williams, but I think Hurd's is pleasanter.)

    When I first began reading it, I thought this might be a poem by Emily Dickinson, a favorite of mine. Her work has something of the same vibe, and I wonder if she might have been one of a number of poets who apparently were much influenced by Herbert.

    A quietly joyful beginning of the week to you and yours, Bear.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=No-ULpBZGio

    ReplyDelete
  2. wow, just.....wow. Thanks for that Bear....2 days worth of meditation packed in there.

    ReplyDelete
  3. ....forgot to say that this reminds me a bit of Francis Thompson's great "Hound of Heaven".

    ReplyDelete

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