The Watcher Cat

The Watcher Cat

Monday, February 27, 2012

George Herbert

Of course, after my previous, politico-legal post, I remembered today is George Herbert's day. Let's not end the day of so beautiful a poet, and so admirable a priest, on a note of reproof. Rather, here is one of Herbert's poems, about the nature of--well, wait a minute. Let the poet make his own point:

Prayer the church's banquet, angel's age,
God's breath in man returning to his birth,
The soul in paraphrase, heart in pilgrimage,
The Christian plummet sounding heav'n and earth
Engine against th' Almighty, sinner's tow'r,
Reversed thunder, Christ-side-piercing spear,
The six-days world transposing in an hour,
A kind of tune, which all things hear and fear;
Softness, and peace, and joy, and love, and bliss,
Exalted manna, gladness of the best,
Heaven in ordinary, man well drest,
The milky way, the bird of Paradise,
Church-bells beyond the stars heard, the soul's blood,
The land of spices; something understood.

For more about the spirituality of this poem, see Christopher Bryant's unpacking.

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