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 


  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.

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

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


Moderation is On.

Featured Post

Judging Angels Chapter 1 Read by Author

Quick commercial for free, no-strings-attached gift of a professionally produced audio book of Judging Angels, Chapter 1: Last Things, read...