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GEORGE HERBERT
Welsh poet
(1593 - 1633)
 << Prev Page    Displaying page 52 of 53    Next Page >> 

Art thou a magistrate? then be severe:
  If studious, copy fair what time hath blurr'd,
    Redeem truth from his jaws: if a soldier,
      Chase brave employments with a naked sword
        Throughout the world. Fool not, for all may have
          If they dare try, a glorious life, or grave.
      - The Church Porch (st. 15) [Judges]

For wealth, without contentment, climbs a hill,
  To feel those tempests which fly over ditches.
      - The Church Porch (st. 19) [Wealth]

The worst speak something good; if all want sense,
  God takes a text, and preacheth patience.
      - The Church Porch (st. 72) [Patience]

Who did leave His Father's throne,
  To assume thy flesh and bone?
    Had He life, or had He none?
      If he had not liv'd for thee,
        Thou hadst died most wretchedly
          And two deaths had been thy fee.
      - The Church--Business [Christ]

Envy not greatness: for thou mak'st thereby
  Thyself the worse, and so the distance greater.
      - The Church--Church Porch (st. 44) [Envy]

To write a verse or two, is all the praise
  That I can raise.
      - The Church--Praise [Poetry]

Bees work for man, and yet they never bruise
  Their Master's flower, but leave it having done,
    As fair as ever and as fit to use;
      So both the flower doth stay and honey run.
      - The Church--Providence [Bees]

Bibles laid open, millions of surprises.
      - The Church--Sin [Scripture]

Starres are poore books, and oftentimes do misse;
  This book of starres lights to eternal blisse.
      - The Church--The Holy Scriptures (pt. II)
        [Scripture]

Wouldst thou both eat thy cake and have it?
      - The Church--The Size [Possession]

Only a sweet and virtuous soul,
  Like season'd timbered, never gives;
    But though the whole world turn to coal,
      Then chiefly lives.
      - The Church--Vertue [Virtue]

Sweet Spring, full of sweet dayes and roses,
  A box where sweets compacted lie,
    My musick shows ye have your closes,
      And all must die.
      - The Church--Vertue (st. 3) [Spring]

Listen, sweet Dove, unto my song,
  And spread thy golden wings in me;
    Hatching my tender heart so long,
      Till it get wing, and flie away with Thee.
      - The Church--Whitsunday [Doves]

If goodness leade him not, yet wearinesse
  May tosse him to my breast.
      - The Pulley (st. 4) [Goodness]

That from small fires comes oft no small mishap.
      - The Temple--Artillerie [Results]

That flesh is but the glasse, which holds the dust
  That measures all our time; which also shall
    Be crumbled into dust.
      - The Temple--Church Monuments [Mortality]

Laugh not too much; the witty man laughs least:
  For wit is news only to ignorance.
    Lesse at thine own things laugh; lest in the jest
      Thy person share, and the conceit advance.
      - The Temple--Church Porch (st. 39)
        [Laughter]

I made a posy while the day ran by;
  Here will I smell my remnant out, and tie
    My life within this band.
      But time did beckon to the flowers, and they
        By noon most cunningly did steal away,
          And wither'd in my hand.
      - The Temple--Life [Time]

A verse may finde him who a sermon flies,
  And turn delight into a sacrifice.
      - The Temple--The Church Porch
        [Brevity : Poetry : Quotations]

Dare to be true, nothing can need a lie;
  A fault which needs it most, grows two thereby.
      - The Temple--The Church Porch [Truth]

When once thy foot enters the church, be bare.
  God is more there than thou: for thou art there
    Only by his permission. Then beware,
      That leads from earth to heaven.
      - The Temple--The Church Porch [Churches]

Summe up at night what thou hast done by day;
  And in the morning what thou hast to do.
    Dresse and undresse thy soul; mark the decay
      And growth of it; if, with thy watch, that too
        Be down then winde up both; since we shall be
          Most surely judg'd, make thy accounts agree.
      - The Temple--The Church Porch
         (next to last stanza) [Self-examination]

Get to live;
  Then live, and use it; else, it is not true
    That thou hast gotten. Surely use alone
      Makes money not a contemptible stone.
      - The Temple--The Church Porch (st. 26)
        [Money]

If that thy fame with ev'ry toy be pos'd,
  'Tis a thin web, which poysonous fancies make;
    But the great souldier's honour was compos'd
      Of thicker stuf, which would endure a shake.
        Wisdom picks friends; civility plays the rest;
          A toy shunn'd cleanly passeth with the best.
      - The Temple--The Church Porch (st. 38)
        [Fame]

He that is drunken . . .
  Is outlawed by himself; all kind of ill
    Did with his liquor slide into his veins.
      - The Temple--The Church Porch (st. 6)
        [Intemperance]


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