Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Love bade me welcome

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

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

George Herbert


Anonymous said...

i just commented on your Ecclesiastes post and, now, I guess I will tackle this one. Poetry and verse can beautify the divine or the profane equally well. Philosophy had its say on the issue through Plato and others before Christ came. How does one assess a work of art through the filter of faith? Can one appreciate and find beauty in works that ignore, or even go out of their way to reject God. The poem you have selected, from (17th century?) George Herbert is a good slice of the artistic life for us to ponder such issues. I guess that one can find both dead flies and perfume in various works in the arts!


Mike W said...

Thanks Harold,
yep, I reckon you can find beauty in works that go out of their way to reject God. Though I'd be interested to see how the artists can explain the beauty.