Then silly soul take heed; for earthly joy
Is but a bubble, and makes thee a boy.
From Vanity 2 – George Herbert
Focus on instant gratification and immediate rewards keeps us immature. It is discipline and patience that molds us into adults. This is why things like “adult book stores” are anything but.
Yet Lord instruct us to improve our fast
By starving sin and taking such repast,
As may our faults control:
That ev’ry man may revel at his door,
Not in his parlour; banqueting the poor,
And among those his soul.
From Lent – George Herbert
This final verse evokes the upside-down world that Jesus inaugurates. In the same way the humble will be exalted, here the one who fasts and feeds the poor will be filled.
I love the last line, a surprise ending, and also a double-meaning. When you feed the poor, you feed yourself, not just because it is a good deed, but because you also were among the poor all along.
Then Sin combin’d with Death in a firm band
To raze the building to the very floor:
Which they effected, none could them withstand.
But Love and Grace took Glory by the hand,
And built a braver Palace than before.
From The World – George Herbert
Blest be the God of love,
Who gave us eyes, and light, and power this day,
Both to be busy, and to play.
But much more blest be God above,
Who gave me sight alone,
Which to himself he did deny:
For when he sees my ways, I die:
But I have got his son, and he hath none.
Even-song – George Herbert
This is the start of my Wordsmiths of Faith series, highlighting passages that moved me, but also show a magnitude of craftsmanship that is awe-inspiring. It’s mostly for my own benefit, to have a trail of notes, but I hope it aids others as well.