Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE SIZE, by GEORGE HERBERT



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First Line: Content thee, greedie heart
Last Line: These seas are tears, and heav'n the haven.
Subject(s): Greed; Avarice; Cupidity


CONTENT thee, greedie heart.
Modest and moderate joyes, to those that have
Title to more hereafter when they part,
Are passing brave.
Let th' upper springs into the low
Descend and fall, and thou dost flow.

What though some have a fraught
Of cloves and nutmegs, and in cinamon sail?
If thou hast wherewithall to spice a draught,
When griefs prevail,
And for the future time art heir
To th' Isle of spices, -- is't not fair?

To be in both worlds full
Is more than God was, who was hungrie here.
Wouldst thou his laws of fasting disanull?
Enact good cheer?
Lay out thy joy, yet hope to save it?
Wouldst thou both eat thy cake, and have it?

Great joyes are all at once;
But little do reserve themselves for more:
Those have their hopes; these what they have
And live on score; [renounce,
Those are at home; these journey still,
And meet the rest on Sions hill.

Thy Saviour sentenc'd joy,
And in the flesh condemn'd it as unfit,
At least in lump: for such doth oft destroy;
Whereas a bit
Doth tice us on to hopes of more,
And for the present health restore.

A Christians state and case
Is not a corpulent, but a thinne and spare,
Yet active strength; whose long and bonie face
Content and care
Do seem to equally divide,
Like a pretender, not a bride.

Wherefore sit down, good heart;
Grasp not at much, for fear thou losest all.
If comforts fell according to desert,
They would great frosts and snows destroy;
For we should count, Since the last joy.

Then close again the seam
Which thou hast open'd; do not spread thy robe
In hope of great things. Call to minde thy dream,
An earthly globe,
On which meridian was engraven, --
These seas are tears, and heav'n the haven.





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