Posted by: chuckbumgardner | February 3, 2008

Prayer, George Herbert

Prayer, the Church’s banquet, Angels’ 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, sinners’ tower,
     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 dressed,
The milky way, the bird of Paradise,
     Church-bells beyond the stars heard, the soul’s blood,
     The land of spices; something understood.
— George Herbert, “Prayer (I).”  Originally published, 1633. From The English Poems of George Herbert, ed. C. A. Patrides (Dent, Rowman & Littlefield, 1975), 70-71.  For better or worse, I have taken the liberty of adding possessive apostrophes throughout, and modernizing the spelling.  The original spelling and punctuation may be found here.
(See comments on “heaven in ordinary” here.)

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