George Herbert

George Herbert Poems

George Herbert was a Welsh poet who also worked as an orator and priest. His poetry is often associated with the metaphysical movement and was considered skilled during his lifetime. He gave up his secular ambitions when he took holy orders in the Church of England. Read more about George Herbert.

Easter Wings

by George Herbert

Lord, who createdst man in wealth and store,

      Though foolishly he lost the same,

            Decaying more and more,

                  Till he became

Love (III)

by George Herbert

‘Love (III)’ is part of The Church, the central section of George Herbert’s ‘The Temple’. The Church collects devotional lyrics.

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,


by George Herbert

‘Redemption’ by George Herbert speaks on one man’s long journey to find God amongst the secular, and therefore the ability to start a new life.

Having been tenant long to a rich lord,

    Not thriving, I resolvèd to be bold,

    And make a suit unto him, to afford

A new small-rented lease, and cancel th’ old.

The Altar

by George Herbert

      That if I chance to hold my peace,

 These stones to praise thee may not cease.

   Oh, let thy blessed SACRIFICE be mine,

     And sanctify this ALTAR to be thine.

The Collar

by George Herbert

‘The Collar’ by George Herbert describes a speaker’s desire to escape from his religious life and turn to one of greater freedom. 

I struck the board, and cry’d, No more.

I will abroad.

What? shall I ever sigh and pine?

My lines and life are free; free as the rode,

The Flower

by George Herbert

‘The Flower’ by George Herbert describes how the changing of the seasons impacts a speaker’s outlook on life and his relationship with God. 

How fresh, O Lord, how sweet and clean

Are Thy returns! ev’n as the flow’rs in Spring,

    To which, besides their own demean

The late-past frosts tributes of pleasure bring;

The Pulley

by George Herbert

‘The Pulley’ by George Herbert speaks on one part of the Christian creation story in which God chose to imbue humanity with blessings.

   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 disperséd lie,


by George Herbert

‘Virtue’ is one of George Herbert’s spiritual poems stressing the need of keeping a virtuous soul. Herbert creates a contrast between earthly things and a virtuous soul to make his point.

Sweet day, so cool, so calm, so bright,

The bridal of the earth and sky;

The dew shall weep thy fall to-night,

For thou must die.

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