Posts Tagged: George Herbert

National Poetry day 2019

If you want to read one or more of their poems, click on their name in the tag list below

Love by George Herbert


Love bade me welcome ; yet my soul drew back,
Guiltie of dust and sin.
But quick-ey’d Love, observing me grow slack
From m’y 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 unkinde, ungrateful ? Ah, my deare,
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 deare, then I will serve.
You must sit down, says Love, and taste my meat.
So I did sit and eat.

George Herbert (1593 - 1633)

Simone Weil, the French philosopher, dearly loved this poem by George Herbert, and it was instrumental in her approach to christianity. She wrote in a letter to Joë BOUSQUET:

Je vous mets ci-joint le poème anglais que je vous avais récité, Love; il a joué un grand rôle dans ma vie, car j'étais occupée à me le réciter à moi-même, à ce moment où, pour la première fois, le Christ est venu me prendre. Je croyais ne faire que redire un beau poème, et à mon insu c'était une prière. (799)

I hereby include the English poem that I recited to you, Love; it played a big role in my life, for I was busy reciting it to myself at the moment when, for the first time, Christ came to take me. I believed I was merely resaying a beautiful poem, and unbeknownst to myself, it was a prayer.