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 reply,
Who made the eyes by I?
Truth Lord, but I have marr’d 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, “Love (III)” in George Herbert: The Country Parson, The Temple (New York: Paulist Press, 1981), 316.
It is a sad thing that George Herbert is little know within the conservative Evangelical circles within which I was reared. I really like what I’ve read so far and am not surprised that The Temple was one of C. S. Lewis’ favorite books. Poetry truly is greater than prose, and greater still when directed towards God and the edification of his Church. I will definitely have more Herbert poems to post in the future.