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No good contemns it, and no virtue blames it;
DELIGHT IN GOD ONLY.
I love (and have some cause to love) the earth;
But what's a creature, Lord, compared with Thee ?
I love the air; her dainty sweets refresh
But what's the air, or all the sweets, that she
I love the sea; she is my fellow creature,
my treasure from a foreign shore :
To heav'n's high city I direct my journey,
But what is heav'n, great God, compared to Thee ?
Without thy presence, earth gives no refection;
If not possessed, if not enjoyed in Thee,
What's earth, or sea, or air, or heaven to me?
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.
I wish nor sea, nor land; nor would I be
THE ENLARGING OF THE HEART.
Since I entertained this Guest !*
Surely I am not the same
But I then was much to blame.
Anything He would have done,
* The Holy Spirit.
All the ways of righteousness
I did think were full of trouble;
Whilst I served Him but of fear,
Longer far than a whole year.
Like a pinnéd, pinioned thing;
Than for me to bow my neck,
When I felt my conscience check. But the case is altered now:
He no sooner turns his eye,
Love hath taught me to obey
Not to-morrow, but to-day..
What I must, I say, I will:
What He biddeth, I believe,
To obey Him is to live.
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,
I shall never go alone.
And in Him all fulness dwelleth,
Having Him that's All in All,
(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