Fire and Ice: Puritan and Reformed Writings
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by George Herbert


     With sick and famisht eyes,
With doubling knees and weary bones,
          To thee my cries,
          To thee my groans,
To thee my sighs, my tears ascend:
               No end?


     My throat, my soul is hoarse;
My heart is wither'd like a ground
          Which thou dost curse.
          My thoughts turn round,
And make me giddy; Lord, I fall,
               Yet call.


     From thee all pity flows.
Mothers are kind, because thou art,
          And dost dispose
          To them a part:
Their infants, them; and they suck thee
               More free.


     Bowels of pity, hear!
Lord of my soul, love of my mind,
          Bow down thine ear!
          Let not the wind
Scatter my words, and in the same
               Thy name!


     Look on my sorrows' round!
Mark well my furnace! O what flames,
          What heats abound!
          What griefs, what shames!
Consider, Lord; Lord, bow thine ear,
               And hear!


     Lord Jesu, thou didst bow
Thy dying head upon the tree:
          O be not now
          More dead to me!
Lord hear! Shall he that made the ear,
               Not hear?


     Behold, thy dust doth stir,
It moves, it creeps, it aims at thee:
          Wilt thou defer
          To succour me,
Thy pile of dust, wherein each crumb
               Says, Come?


     To thee help appertains.
Hast thou left all things to their course,
          And laid the reins
          Upon the horse?
Is all lockt? hath a sinner's plea
               No key?


     Indeed the world's thy book,
Where all things have their leaf assign'd:
          Yet a meek look
          Hath interlin'd.
Thy board is full, yet humble guests
               Find nests.


     Thou tarriest, while I die,
And fall to nothing: thou dost reign,
          And rule on high,
          While I remain
In bitter grief yet am I stil'd
               Thy child.


     Lord, didst thou leave thy throne,
Not to relieve? how can it be,
          That thou art grown
          Thus hard to me?
Were sin alive, good cause there were
               To bear.


     But now both sin is dead,
And all thy promises live and bide.
          That wants his head;
          These speak and chide,
And in thy bosom pour my tears,
               As theirs.


     Lord JESU, hear my heart,
Which hath been broken now so long,
          That ev'ry part
          Hath got a tongue!
Thy beggars grow; rid them away


     My love, my sweetness, hear!
By these thy feet, at which my heart
          Lies all the year,
          Pluck out thy dart,
And heal my troubled breast which cries,
               Which dies.




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