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Perseverance, by George Herbert

I have enjoyed reading through the poems of George Herbert with my sons the last week or so. They are rich, full of the struggles of life and conscience and full of hope. I was struck by how often the word “mirth” appeared.

My poem of the week this week has been his poem titled, “Perseverance.” I love the determination of faith shown here, particularly in the last stanza.

My God, the poor expressions of my Love
Which warm these lines, and serve them up to thee
Are so, as for the present I did move,
Or rather as thou movedst me.

But what shall issue, whether these my words
Shall help another, but my judgement be;
As a burst fowling-piece doth save the birds
But kill the man, is sealed with thee.

For who can tell, though thou hast died to win
And wed my soul in glorious paradise;
Whether my many crimes and use of sin
May yet forbid the banes and bliss.

Only my soul hangs on thy promises
With face and hands clinging unto thy breast,
Clinging and crying, crying without cease,
Thou art my rock, thou art my rest.

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