Wednesday, September 26, 2007

George Herbert - The Pulley

I can't say I was looking forward to reading this dusty old book for school. I have the heart of a poet, but neither the skill to write it or many times the mind set to read it. I actually prayed before opening this book that God would prepare my heart and my mind to receive these sacred old poems and was so surprised when I attempted the shortest one that God answered my prayer. It is so beautiful I was moved to tears.

The Pulley

When God at first made man,
Having a glass of blessings standing by;
Let us (said he) pour on him all we can;
Let the world's riches, which dispersed lie,
Contract into a span.

So strength first made a way;
Then beauty flow'd, then wisdom, honor, pleasure;
When almost all was out, God made a stay,
Perceiving that alone in all his treasure
Rest in the bottom lay.

For if I should (said he)
Bestow this jewel also on my creature,
He would adore my gifts instead of me,
And rest in Nature, not the God of Nature;
So both should losers be.

Yet let him keep the rest,
But keep them with repining restlessness;
Let him be rich and weary, that at least,
If goodness lead him not, yet weariness
May toss him to my breast.

Note: Title: The poem transfigures the legend of Pandora's box, from which were released all man's woes, leaving only Hope behind.

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

I just discovered George Herbert a few weeks back. Did you know I posted this same poem?

I'm not sure if that link will work, but I just posted it a week or two ago. Glad you're enjoying these poems and finding them so rich!