Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, OBEDIENCE, by GEORGE HERBERT



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OBEDIENCE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: My god, if writings may
Last Line: Entred for both, farre above their desert!


MY God, if writings may
Convey a lordship any way
Whither the buyer and the seller please;
Let it not thee displease,
If this poore paper do as much as they.

On it my heart doth bleed
As many lines as there doth need
To passe itself and all it hath to thee:
To which I do agree,
And here present it as my speciall deed.

If that hereafter Pleasure
Cavill, and claim her part and measure,
As if this passed with a reservation,
Or some such words in fashion;
I here exclude the wrangler from thy treasure.

O let thy sacred will
All thy delight in me fulfill!
Let me not think an action mine own way,
But as thy love shall sway;
Resigning up the rudder to thy skill.

Lord, what is man to thee,
That thou shouldst minde a rotten tree?
Yet, since thou canst not choose but see my actions,
So great are thy perfections,
Thou mayst as well my actions guide, as see.

Besides, thy death and bloud
Show'd a strange love to all our good:
Thy sorrows were in earnest; no faint proffer,
Or superficial offer
Of what we might not take, or be withstood.

Wherefore I all forego:
To one word onely I say, No:
Where in the deed there was an intimation
Of a gift or donation,
Lord, let it now by way of purchase go.

He that will passe his land,
As I have mine, may set his hand
And heart unto this deed, when he hath read;
And make the purchase spread
To both our goods, if he to it will stand.

How happie were my part,
If some kinde man would thrust his heart
Into these lines; till in heav'ns court of rolls
They were by winged souls
Entred for both, farre above their desert!





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