Thou hast a garden for us

Daily Reading for February 27 • The Eighth Sunday after the Epiphany

O that I once past changing were,

Fast in thy Paradise, where no flower can wither!

Many a spring I shoot up fair,

Offering at heaven, growing and groaning thither:

Nor doth my flower

Want a spring-shower,

My sins and I joining together.

But while I grow in a straight line,

Still upwards bent, as if heaven were mine own,

Thy anger comes, and I decline:

What frost to that? what pole is not the zone

Where all things burn,

When thou dost turn,

And the least frown of thine is shown?

And now in age I bud again,

After so many deaths I live and write;

I once more smell the dew and rain,

And relish versing: O my only light,

It cannot be

That I am he,

On whom thy tempests fell all night.

These are thy wonders, Lord of love,

To make us see we are but flowers that glide:

Which when we once can find and prove,

Thou hast a garden for us, where to bide.

Who would be more,

Swelling through store,

Forfeit their Paradise by their pride.

From “The Flower,” in The Temple: Sacred Poems and Private Ejaculations by George Herbert (London: Pickering, 1838).

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