George Herbert (1593–1633)
The Crosse from The Temple (1633)
What is this strange and uncouth thing?
To make me sigh, and seek, and faint, and die,
Untill I had some place, where I might sing,
And serve thee; and not onely I,
But all my wealth and familie might combine
To set thy honour up, as our designe.
And then when after much delay,
Much wrastling, many a combate, this deare end,
So much desir’d, is giv’n, to take away
My power to serve thee; to unbend
All my abilities, my designes confound,
And lay my threatnings bleeding on the ground.
One ague dwelleth in my bones,
Another in my soul (the memorie
What I would do for thee, if once my grones
Could be allow’d for harmonie):
I am in all a weak disabled thing,
Save in the sight thereof, where strength doth sting.
Besides, things sort not to my will,
Ev’n when my will doth studie thy renown:
Thou turnest th’ edge of all things on me still,
Taking me up to throw me down:
So that, ev’n when my hopes seem to be sped,
I am to grief alive, to them as dead.
To have my aim, and yet to be
Further from it then when I bent my bow;
To make my hopes my torture, and the fee
Of all my woes another wo,
Is in the midst of delicates to need,
And ev’n in Paradise to be a weed.
Ah my deare Father, ease my smart!
These contrarieties crush me: these crosse actions
Doe winde a rope about, and cut my heart:
And yet since these thy contradictions
Are properly a crosse felt by the Sonne,
With but foure words, my words, Thy will be done.