George Herbert, The Deniall (1633)

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GEORGE HERBERT (1593-1632), Deniall.

When my devotions could not pierce
Thy silent eares;

Then was my heart broken, as was my verse:

My breast was full of fears
And disorder:

My bent thoughts, like a brittle bow,
Did fly asunder:

Each took his way; some would to pleasures go,

Some to the warres and thunder
Of alarms.

As good go any where, they say,
As to benumme

Both knees and heart, in crying night and day,

Come, come, my God, O come!
But no hearing.

O that thou shouldst give dust a tongue
To crie to thee,

And then not heare it crying! all day long

My heart was in my knee,
But no hearing.

Therefore my soul lay out of sight,
Untun'd, unstrung:

My feeble spirit, unable to look right,

Like a nipt blossome, hung

O cheer and tune my heartlesse breast,
Deferre no time;

That so thy favours granting my request,

They and my minde may chime,
And mend my ryme.

Notes: 10: alarms = state of surprise with fear and terror; 12: benumme = make numb; 24: nipt = here 'destroyed by frost' or 'cut off'; 29: chime = sound in harmony; 30: mend = repair)

Source: The temple Sacred poems and private ejaculations. By Mr. George Herbert, late oratour of the Universitie of Cambridge. Cambridge : Printed by Thomas Buck and Roger Daniel: and are to be sold by Francis Green, stationer in Cambridge, [1633] EEBO