George Herbert was a well-loved poet in the seventeenth century. After his death, his close friend, Nicholas Ferrar, wrote that he “exchanged the advantages of noble birth and worldly preferment for the strains of serving at “Gods Altar,” one whose “obedience and conformitie to the Church and the discipline thereof was singularly remarkable,” and whose “faithfull discharge” of the holy duties to which he was called “make him justly a companion to the primitive Saints, and a pattern or more for the age he lived in.” “
Here is one of my favorite of his poems:
by George Herbert
Love bade me welcome, yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-ey’d Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
If I lack’d anything.
“A guest,” I answer’d, “worthy to be here”;
Love said, “You shall be he.”
“I, the unkind, the 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 marr’d 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.