George Herbert 1593 (Montgomery) – 1633 (Bemerton)
Lord, how couldst thou so much appease
Thy wrath for sin, as when man's sight was dim,
And could see little, to regard his ease,
And bring by Faith all things to him?
Hungry I was, and had no meat:
I did conceit a most delicious feast;
I had it straight, and did as truly eat,
As ever did a welcome guest.
There is a rare outlandish root,
Which when I could not get, I thought it here:
That apprehension cur'd so well my foot,
That I can walk to heav'n well near.
I owed thousands and much more.
I did believe that I did nothing owe,
And liv'd accordingly; my creditor
Believes so too, and lets me go.
Faith makes me any thing, or all
That I believe is in the sacred story:
And where sin placeth me in Adam's fall,
Faith sets me higher in his glory.
If I go lower in the book,
What can be lower than the common manger?
Faith puts me there with him, who sweetly took
Our flesh and frailty, death and danger.
If bliss had lien in art or strength,
None but the wise or strong had gained it:
Where now by Faith all arms are of a length;
One size doth all conditions fit.
A peasant may believe as much
As a great Clerk, and reach the highest stature.
Thus dost thou make proud knowledge bend and crouch
While grace fills up uneven nature.
When creatures had no real light
Inherent in them, thou didst make the sun
Impute a lustre, and allow them bright;
And in this show what Christ hath done.
That which before was darkned clean
With bushy groves, pricking the looker's eye,
Vanisht away, when Faith did change the scene:
And then appear'd a glorious sky.
What though my body run to dust?
Faith cleaves unto it, counting ev'ry grain
With an exact and most particular trust,
Reserving all for flesh again.
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