Raise your glass . . .

To George Herbert, priest and poet. Today is his day of commemoration in the Anglican calendar.  And here is a shape poem of his, from The Temple.

The Altar

A broken ALTAR, Lord, thy servant rears,
Made of a heart and cemented with tears;
Whose parts are as thy hand did frame;
No workman’s tool hath touch’d the same.
A HEART alone
Is such a stone,
As nothing but
Thy pow’r doth cut.
Wherefore each part
Of my hard heart
Meets in this frame
To praise thy name.
That if I chance to hold my peace,
These stones to praise thee may not cease.
Oh, let thy blessed SACRIFICE be mine,
And sanctify this ALTAR to be thine.

~ George Herbert, 1593 – 1633


About middlingpoet

From the Gawain poet to Rainer Maria Rilke: I love traditional poetry.
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2 Responses to Raise your glass . . .

  1. albert says:

    I have George Herbert all together in one book–a treasure which I too seldom open. Thank you for the reminder. Coincidentally — if there is such a condition — this poem is a perfect one for me to learn by heart as Lent begins (today in Eastern Christian churches).

  2. middlingpoet says:

    It really is a good Lenten poem, isn’t it? The Eastern & Western calendars are so hard to follow. Apparently we’re together this year, but you still start two days ahead of us! 🙂 Ah well, harmony in difference, and difference in harmony . . .

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