Poem: “Love III”

Love (III)

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 near to me, sweetly questioning,
If I lacked anything?
A guest, I answered, worthy to be here:
Love said,
You should be he.
I the unkind, ungrateful? ah my deare,
I can not 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.

George Herbert

George Herbert was born in Mongomery, Wales to a noble family in 1593. He was a poet, an orator, and an Anglican priest. As rector in Bemerton near Salisbury, he was known for the care he gave his parishioners, bringing the sacraments to them when they were ill, and providing food and clothing for those in need.  Near death, he asked a close friend to publish his poems if he thought they might be helpful to "any dejected poor soul." He died in 1633 at the age of 40. Herbert's poems are known for their deep religious devotion and metrical liveliness. He is considered one of the great Metaphysical poets.