May 15, 2014

Poem: The Pulley

The Pulley is by the poet, orator, and Anglican priest, George Herbert (1593–1633). It was published posthumously in the collection: The Temple (1633). It is included in the Poetry Appendix of the Liturgy of the Hours (1975).

THE PULLEY by George Herbert, 1633 (Public Domain)

     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 dispersèd lie,
     Contract into a span.”

     So strength first made a way;
Then beauty flowed, then wisdom, honour, 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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