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



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THE PULLEY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: When god at first made man
Last Line: May toss him to my breast.
Variant Title(s): The Gifts Of God;rest
Subject(s): Bible; Creation; God; Mankind; Melancholy; Redemption; Religion; Human Race; Dejection; Theology


When God at first made man,
Having a glass of blessings standing by,
Let us (said he) pour on him all we can:
Let the world's riches, which dispersed lie,
Contract into a span.

So strength first made a way;
The beauty flowed, then wisdom, honor, pleasure:
When almost all was out, God made a stay,
Perceiving, that, alone, of all his treasure,
Rest in the bottom lay.

For if I should (said he)
Bestow this jewel also on my creature,
He would adore my gifts instead of me,
And rest in Nature, not the God of Nature:
So both should losers be.

Yet let him keep the rest,
But keep them with repining restlessness:
Let him be rich and weary, that, at least,
If goodness lead him not, yet weariness
May toss him to my breast.




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