A really wonderful collection of devotional poetry. George Herbert’s poetry sinks deep roots into the glorious doctrines of the Christian faith, and then raises us up to soar with poignant praise. He is witty, lucid, and demonstrates that good doctrine with a beating heart is a potent combination. What Adam had, and forfeited for all, Christ keepeth now, who cannot fail or fall. Herbert also mingles in a healthy dose of that good, ol’ fashioned earthiness of English poets. In almost every selection you find some sort of proverbial statement which are often quite Solomonic. I’d highly suggest leaving a copy on your nightstand and read a selection each evening. Really good stuff.
Here are a few of my favorite lines:
- Pick out of tales the mirth, but not the sin.
- A verse may find him, who a sermon flies,
- The way to make thy son rich,
is to fill His mind with rest,
before his trunk with riches.
- Do all things like a man, not sneakingly.
- Laugh not too much: the witty man laughs least.
- Towards great persons use respective boldness.
- Be calm in arguing: for fierceness makes
Error a fault, and truth discourtesy.
- All worldly joys go less
To the one joy of doing kindnesses.
- Restore to God his due in tithe and time.
- Praying’s the end of preaching.
- Churches are either our heav’n or hell.
- Sum up at night, what thou hast done by day.
- And praise him who did make and mend our eyes.
- The bloody cross of my dear Lord
Is both my physic and my sword.
- What Adam had, and forfeited for all,
Christ keepeth now, who cannot fail or fall.