Love

Love (I)

BY GEORGE HERBERT

Immortal Love, author of this great frame,

Sprung from that beauty which can never fade,

How hath man parcel’d 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 heart and brain,

(Thy workmanship) and give Thee share in neither.

Wit fancies beauty, beauty raiseth wit;

The world is theirs, they two play out the game,

Thou standing by: and though Thy glorious name

Wrought our deliverance from th’ infernal pit,

Who sings Thy praise? Only a scarf or glove

Doth warm our hands, and make them write of love.

Love II.

IMmortall 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 our brain

All her invention on thine Altar lay,

And there in hymnes send back thy fire again:

Our eies shall see thee, which before saw dust;

Dust blown by wit, till that they both were blinde:

Thou shalt recover all thy goods in kinde,

Who wert disseized by usurping lust:

All knees shall bow to thee; all wits shall rise,

And praise him who did make and mend our eies.

Love III

by George Herbert

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, the 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 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.

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