Week 6: Love (III), by George Herbert

Love

Love bade me welcome, yet my soul drew back,
     Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-ey’d Love, observing me grow slack
     From my 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 unkind, the ungrateful? ah my dear,
    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 dear, then I will serve.’
‘You must sit down,’ says Love, ‘and taste my meat.’
    So I did sit and eat.

George Herbert

I can’t claim to have any notion of divine love myself, but there is something about this poem that transcends and disarms mere unbelief; I think it is one of the great poems of the language.

Advertisements

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s