Poetry by Herbert  

Posted by Joe Rawls

We honor George Herbert (1593-1633) on his feastday with the collect from Lesser Feasts and Fasts and with "The Altar", one of the poems from his posthumous work The Temple.


Our God and King, who didst call thy servant George Herbert from the pursuit of worldly honors to be a pastor of souls, a poet, and a priest in thy temple: Give unto us the grace, we beseech thee, joyfully to perform the tasks thou givest us to do, knowing that nothing is menial or common that is done for thy sake; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

A broken altar, Lord, thy servant rears,
Made of a heart, and cemented with tears,
Whose parts are as thy hand did frame;
No workman's tool hath touch'd the same.
A heart alone
Is such a stone,
As nothing but
Thy power doth cut.
Wherefore each part
Of my hard heart
Meets in this frame,
To praise Thy name:
That, if I chance to hold my peace,
These stones to praise Thee may not cease.
O let Thy blessed SACRIFICE be mine,
And sanctify this ALTAR to be Thine.

This entry was posted on Saturday, February 27, 2010 at Saturday, February 27, 2010 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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