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Thou contracted light Print E-mail
By George Herbert   
Tuesday, 24 December 2013

All after pleasures as I rid one day,
       My horse and I, both tir’d, bodie and minde,
       With full crie of affections, quite astray,
I took up in the next inne I could finde,

There when I came, whom found I but my deare,
       My dearest Lord, expecting till the grief
       Of pleasures brought me to him, readie there
To be all passengers most sweet relief?

O Thou, whose glorious, yet contracted light,
       Wrapt in nights mantle, stole into a manger;
       Since my dark soul and brutish is thy right,
To Man of all beasts be not thou a stranger:

       Furnish & deck my soul, that thou mayst have
       A better lodging then a rack or grave.

THe shepherds sing; and shall I silent be?
               My God, no hymn 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, 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.

 

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