George Herbert

Soundings Index

The Collar

 I struck the board, and cry'd, No more.
 			I will abroad.
 	What? shall I ever sigh and pine?
 My lines and life are free; free as the rode,
 	Loose as the winde, as large as store.
 		Shall I be still in suit?
 	Have I no harvest but a thorn
 	To let me bloud, and not restore
 	What I have lost with cordiall fruit?
 			Sure there was wine
 Before my sighs did drie it: there was corn
 		Before my tears did drown it.
 	Is the yeare only lost to me?
 		Have I no bayes to crown it?
 No flowers, no garlands gay? all blasted?
 			All wasted?
 	Not so, my heart: but there is fruit,
 			And thou hast hands.
 	Recover all they sigh-blown age
 On double pleasures: leave they cold dispute
 Of what is fit, and not. Forsake they cage,
 			Thy rope of sands,
 Which pettie thoughts have made, and made to thee
 	Good cable, to enforce and draw,
 			And be thy law,
 While thou didst wink and wouldst not see.
 			Away; take heed;
 			I will abroad.
 Call in they deaths head there: tie up thy fears.
 			He that forbears
 		To suit and serve his need,
 			Deserves his load.
 But as I rav'd and grew more fierce and wilde
 			At every word,
 Me thoughts I heard one calling, Child!
 	And I reply'd, My Lord.


 Love bade me welcome: yet my soul drew back,
 		Guilite of dust and sinne.
 But quick-ey'd Love, observing me grow slack
 		From my first entrance in,
 Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning,
 		If I lack'd any thing.

 A guest, I answer'd, worthy to be here:
 		Love said, You shall be he.
 I the unkinde, ungrateful? Ah my deare,
 		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, sayes Love, who bore the blame?
 		My deare, then I will serve.
 You must sit down, sayes Love, and taste my meat:
 		So I did sit and eat.


 I made a posie, while the day ran by:
 Here will I smell my remnant out, and tie
 		My life within this band.
 But Time did beckon to the flowers, and they
 By Noon most cunningly did steal away,
 		And wither'd in my hand.

 My hand was next to them, and then my heart:
 I took, without more thinking, in good part
 		Times gentle admonition:
 Who did so sweetly deaths sad taste convey,
 Making my minde to smell my fateful day;
 		Yet surging the suspicion.

 Farewell deare flowers, sweetly your time ye spent,
 Fit, while ye liv'd for smell or ornament,
 		And after death for cures.
 I follow straight without complaints or grief,
 Since if my sent be good, I care not if
 		It be as short as yours.


 Sweet day so cool, so calm so bright,
 The bridall of the earth and skie:
 The dew shall weep they fall to night;
 		For thou must die.

 Sweet rose, whose hue angrie and brave
 Bids the rash gazer wipe his eye:
 Thy root is ever in its grave,
 		And thou must die.

 Sweet spring, full of sweet dayes and roses,
 A box where sweets compacted lie;
 My musick shows ye have your closes,
 		And all must die.

 Only a sweet and vertuous soul,
 Like season'd timber, never gives;
 But though the whole world turn to coal,
 		Then chiefly lives.

Soundings Index