Love

by George Herbert

Love bade me welcome; yet my soul drew back,
Conscious of dust and sin.
But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning,
If I lacked anything.
"A guest", I answered, "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 marred 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.

The Power of Poetry: When the French writer Simone Weil, first read Herbert's poetry, she thought it merely beautiful verse. Subsequently she realized this poetry could have the effect of prayer. In the autumn of 1938, when reading George Herbert's poem, Love, "Christ Himself came down and He took me," Weil later reported.

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