Church-Rents And Schismes

by George Herbert

George Herbert

Brave rose (alas!) where art thou? In the chair,
Where thou didst lately so triumph and shine,
A worm doth sit, whose many feet and hair
Are the more foul, the more thou wert divine.
This, this hath done it, this did bite the root
And bottome of the leaves: which when the winde
Did once perceive, it blew them under foot,
Where rude unhallow'd steps do crush and grinde
    Their beauteous glories.  Onely shreds of thee,
    And those all bitten, in thy chair I see.
Why doth my Mother blush? is she the rose,
And shows it so?  Indeed Christ's precious bloud
Gave you a colour one; which when your foes
Thought to let out, the bleeding did you good,
And made you look much fresher then before.
But when debates and fretting jealousies
Did worm and work within you more and more,
Your colour faded, and calamities
    Turned your ruddie into pale and bleak:
    Your health and beautie both began to break.
Then did your sev'rall parts unloose and start;
Which when your neighbours saw, like a north-winde
They rushed in, and cast them in the dirt
Where Pagans tread.  O Mother deare and kinde,
    Where shall I get me eyes enough to weep,
    As much of Asia and Europe fast asleep,
    And ev'n all Africk; would at least I might
          With these two poore ones lick up all the dew
          Which falls by night, and poure it out for you!

Last updated January 14, 2019