Sunday, December 26, 2010

12 days of Christmas poems -- Day 2

Christmas (II)
by George Herbert

The shepherds sing ; and shall I silent be?
My God, no hymne for thee?
My soul ’s a shepherd too : a flock it feeds
Of thoughts, and words, and deeds.
The pasture is thy word ; the streams, thy grace
Enriching all the place.
Shepherd and flock shall sing, and all my powers
Out-sing the day-light houres.
Then we will chide the sunne for letting night
Take up his place and right :

We sing one common Lord ; wherefore he should
Himself the candle hold.

I will go searching, till I finde a sunne
Shall stay, till we have done ;
A willing shiner, that shall shine as gladly,
As frost-nipt sunnes look sadly.
Then we will sing, and shine all our own day,
And one another pay :
His beams shall cheer my breast, and both so twine,
Till ev’n his beams sing, and my musick shine.

1 comment:

  1. Being a curious sort and not being familiar with George Herbert, I wanted to find out more about this poet. As usual, a convenient starting place is:
    One aspect of his work that intrigues me is a volume of poetry entitled "The Temple: Sacred Poems and Private Ejaculations," which imitates the architectural style of churches through both the meaning of the words and their visual layout. I should put this on my list to investigate and perhaps study.

    In the poem you posted, I especially am attracted to the line "The pasture is thy word; the streams, thy grace
    Enriching all the place."
    What a concept!

    Thanks (again) for sharing an interesting piece.