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No good contemns it, and no virtue blames it;
No guilt condemns it, and no folly shames it;
No sloth besots it, and no lust enthrals it;
No scorn afflicts it, and no passion galls it;
It is a casket of immortal life;
An ark of peace; the lists of sacred strife;
A purer piece of endless transitory;
A shrine of grace, a little throne of glory:
A heav'n born offspring of a new-born birth;
An earthly heav'n; an ounce of heav'nly earth.


I love (and have some cause to love) the earth;
She is my Maker's creature, therefore good:
She is my mother, for she gave me birth;
She is my tender nurse; she gives me food:

But what's a creature, Lord, compared with Thee ?
Or what's my mother, or my nurse to me ?

I love the air; her dainty sweets refresh
My drooping soul, and to new sweets invite me;
Her shrill mouthed choir sustain me with their flesh,
And with their polyphonian notes delight me:

But what's the air, or all the sweets, that she
Can bless my soul withal, compared to Thee ?

I love the sea; she is my fellow creature,
My careful purveyor; she provides me store;
She walls me round; she makes my diet greater;
She wafts

my treasure from a foreign shore :
But, Lord of oceans, when compared with Thee,
What is the ocean, or her wealth to me?

To heav'n's high city I direct my journey,
Whose spangled suburbs entertain mine eye;
Mine eye, by contemplation's great attorney,
Transcends the crystal pavement of the sky:

But what is heav'n, great God, compared to Thee ?
Without thy presence, heav'n's no heav'n to me.

Without thy presence, earth gives no refection;
Without thy presence, sea affords no treasure :
Without thy presence, air's a rank infection ;
Without thy presence, heav'n itself's no pleasure;

If not possessed, if not enjoyed in Thee,

What's earth, or sea, or air, or heaven to me?
The highest honours that the world can boast
Are subjects far too low for my

The brightest beams of glory are (at most)
But dying sparkles of thy living fire :

The proudest flames that earth can kindle be

But mighty glowworms, if compared to Thee. Without thy presence, wealth are bags of cares; Wisdom, but folly; joy, disquiet sadness : Friendship, is treason, and delights are snares; Pleasure's but pain, and mirth but pleasing madness;

Without thee, Lord, things be not what they be,

Nor have their being, when compared with 'Thee.
In having all things, and not Thee, what have I?
Not having Thee, what have my labours got ?
Let me enjoy but Thee, what farther crave I?
And having Thee alone, what have I not?

I wish nor sea, nor land; nor would I be
Possessed of heav'n, heav'n unpossessed of Thee.

What a blessed change I find,

Since I entertained this Guest !*
Now methinks another mind
Moves and rules within my breast,

Surely I am not the same
That I was before He came;

But I then was much to blame.
When, before my God commanded

Anything He would have done,
I was close and gripple-handed
Made an end ere I begun.
If He thought it fit to lay
Judgments on me, I could say,
They are good; but shrink away.

* The Holy Spirit.

All the ways of righteousness

I did think were full of trouble;
I complained of tediousness,
And each duty seemed double.

Whilst I served Him but of fear,
Ev'ry minute did appear

Longer far than a whole year.
Strictness in religion seemed

Like a pinnéd, pinioned thing;
Bolts and fetters I esteemed
More beseeming for a king,

Than for me to bow my neck,
And be at another's beck,

When I felt my conscience check. But the case is altered now:

He no sooner turns his eye,
But I quickly bend and bow,
Ready at his feet to lie;

Love hath taught me to obey
All his precepts, and to say,

Not to-morrow, but to-day..
What He wills I say I must:

What I must, I say, I will:
He commanding, it is just
What He would I should fulfil.

What He biddeth, I believe,
What He calls for He will give:

To obey Him is to live.
His commandments grievous are not

Longer than men think them so: Though He send me forth, I care not, Whilst He gives me strength to go;

When or whither, all is one,
On his business, not mine own,

I shall never go alone.
If I be complete in Him,

And in Him all fulness dwelleth,
I am sure aloft to swim,
Whilst that ocean over-swelleth.

Having Him that's All in All,
I am confident I shall
Nothing want for which I call.


(1593–1632-3.) This illustrious poet was born at Montgomery Castle, in 1593. He belonged to the ancient stock of the Herberts, Earls of Pembroke. His eldest brother was Lord Herbert of Cherbury, whose Autobiography is one of the most interesting works in the language, and whose philosophical writings still receive their meed of attention. In the Autobiography there are interesting notices of the writer's family, of whom the most remarkable was his mother, a woman of great piety, great strength of character, and masculine intellect. In the early part of his life, George Herbert lived at Oxford, where his mother resided during the education of her elder son. She after wards took a house in London, while George attended Westminster School. Having obtained a scholarship, George proceeded in due course to Trinity College, Cambridge. Whilst he was at Westminster he appears to have commen

enced, and at Trinity to have elaborated and completed a remarkable set of Latin verses, entitled “Musæ Responsoriæ,” in answer to a satirical poem written in Latin sapphics, by Andrew Melvin, on the occasion of the steps taken by the two universities in reference to the Millenary Petition. These poems are remarkable both for their intrinsic merit, and also as offering the very best example of Latin poetry that had been as yet published in England. In 1615, having taken his bachelor's degree in 1612, Herbert became M.A., and fellow of his college; and a few years afterwards was made Public Orator of the University. This was a much coveted position, as it brought the holder of it into close connection with the court, and frequently proved an avenue to high political distinction. Before long Herbert stood high in the favour of royalty, and entertained a reasonable expectation of being appointed a Secretary of State. The popular notion that makes George Herbert simply a “country parson” is inaccurate; he took orders late, and died before he had been long ordained; his best years were spent as a courtier and scholar, and he was so distinguished that Lord Bacon dedicated to him one of his productions, and submitted others to his revision.

Lord Herbert of Cherbury has bluntly but truly indicated the real cause of his brother becoming a clergy, man—the disappointment of his hopes at court. With the new reign of Charles I. passed away the expectations he had founded upon the favour of the old king; and it happened, moreover, that his two powerful friends, Lodowick, Duke of Richmond, and James, Marquis of Hamilton, also died within a short space of time. He had always been a good man; but now a further remarkable change seems to have passed over his mind. He resolved to consecrate his future life entirely to his sacred duties; and he henceforth exhibited a rare extent of labour, sacrifice, and intense devotion. It was not, however, till be became a priest that he exchanged his sword and silken clothes for the canonical dress; deacon's orders being then more really distinct from the other orders than is the case at present. In the meantime he married, having known his bride only for three days previously: they had however long heard of each other. Herbert's quaint biographer, Izaak Walton, says, “They had wooed so like princes as to have select proxies. .... The eternal Lover of mankind made them happy in each other's mutual affection and compliance.” The living of Fugglestone

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