30 November 2007 | Vol. 7, No. 3

The Pulley

      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 dispersād lie,

      Contract into a span.

      So strength first made a way,

Then beauty flow'd, 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.

About the author:

1593-1633. George Herbert was a Welsh poet, orator, and priest, whose extant poems concern religious themes.

For further reading:

See the complete list of work by George Herbert at 42opus. Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 7, No. 3, where "The Pulley" ran on November 30, 2007. List other work with these same labels: poetry, classic, rhyme.

42opus is an online magazine of the literary arts.

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