The Thanksgiving

by George Herbert

George Herbert

Oh King of grief! (a title strange, yet true,
To thee of all kings only due)
Oh King of wounds! How shall I grieve for thee,
Who in all grief preventest me?
Shall I weep bloud? Why thou hast wept such store
That all thy body was one doore.
Shall I be scourged, flouted, boxed, sold?
'Tis but to tell the tale is told.
My God, my God, why dost thou part from me?
Was such a grief as cannot be.
Shall I then sing, skipping thy dolefull storie,
And side with thy triumphant glorie?
Shall thy strokes be my stroking? thorns, my flowers?
Thy rod, my posie? crosse, my bower?
But how then shall I imitate thee, and
Copie thy fair though bloudie hand?
Surely I will revenge me on thy love,
And trie who shall victorious prove.
If thou dost give me wealth; I will restore
All back unto thee by the poore.
If thou dost give me honor; men shall see,
The honor doth belong to thee.
I will not marry; or, if she be mine,
She and her children shall be thine.
My bosom friende, if he blaspheme thy name,
I will tear thence his love and fame.
One half of me being gone, the rest I give
Unto some Chapell, die or live.
As for thy passion --- But of that anon,
When with the other I have done.
For thy predestination, I'll contrive,
That three years hence, if I survive,
I'll build a spittle, or mend common wayes,
But mend mine own without delayes.
Then I will use the works of thy creation,
As if I us'd them but for fashion.
The world and I will quarrell; and the yeare
Shall not perceive, that I am here.
My musick shall finde thee, and ev'ry string
Shall have his attribute to sing;
That all together may accord in thee,
And prove one God, one harmonie.
If thou shalt give me wit, it shall appeare.
If thou hast given it me, 'tis here.
Nay, I will reade thy booke, and never move
Till I have found therein thy love;
Thy art of love, which I'll turn back on thee,
O my dear Saviour, Victorie!
Then for thy passion --- I will do for that --
Alas, my God, I know not what.

Last updated January 14, 2019