Sunday Poetry – George Herbert

On Easter Sunday, I thought I’d post one of the poems from Janet Morley’s anthology, The Heart’s Time. Many of the poems in the book are unfamiliar to me but this one, by George Herbert, is one of my favourites. It’s a very gentle, conversational poem but speaks of any loving relationship, not just the relationship between the speaker & God.

Love bade me welcome. Yet my soul drew back
                      Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
                       From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning,
                       If I lacked any thing.

A guest, I answered, worthy to be here:
                       Love said, You shall be he.
I the unkind, 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 marred 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.

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