From Affliction III, The Temple (1633)
My heart did heave, and there came forth, O God!
By that I knew that thou wast in the grief,
To guide and govern it to my relief
Making a septer of the rod:
Hadst thou not had thy part,
Sure the unruly sigh had broke my heart.
But since thy breath gave me both life and shape,
Thou knowst my tallies; and when there’s assign’d
So much breath to a sigh, what’s then behinde?
Or if some yeares with it escape,
The sigh then only is
A gale to bring me sooner to my blisse.
Thy life on earth was grief, and thou asrt stull
Constant unto it, making it to be
A point of honour, now to grieve in me,
And in thy members suffer ill.
They who lament one crosse,
Thou dying daily, praise thee to thy losse.
George Herbert (1583-1633) was a Welsh poet and Anglican priest, one of the best known of the metaphysical poets. He had a political career before his ordination and served as rector of a rural parish near Salisbury. His poems were published posthumously by his friend, Nicholas Ferrar. Herbert is commemorated on February 27 on the liturgical calendars of several Anglican churches.