Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Herbert: Thou that hast giv'n so much to me

Tuesday, February 27, 2024
    Feast of George Herbert, Priest, Poet, 1633
    And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying: “We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign.”
    —Revelation 11:16-17 (NIV)
Thou that hast giv’n so much to me,
Give one thing more, a gratefull heart.
See how thy beggar works on thee
        By art.

He makes thy gifts occasion more,
And sayes, if he in this be crost,
All thou hast giv’n him heretofore
        Is lost.

But thou didst reckon, when at first
Thy word our hearts and hands did crave,
What it would come to at the worst
        To save.

Perpetuall knockings at thy doore,
Tears sullying thy transparent rooms,
Gift upon gift, much would have more,
        And comes.

This notwithstanding, thou wentst on,
And didst allow us all our noise:
Nay, thou hast made a sigh and grone
        Thy joyes.

Not that thou hast not still above
Much better tunes, than grones can make;
But that these countrey-aires thy love
        Did take.

Wherefore I crie, and crie again;
And in no quiet canst thou be,
Till I a thankfull heart obtain
        Of thee:

Not thankfull, when it pleaseth me;
As if thy blessings had spare dayes:
But such a heart, whose pulse may be
        Thy praise.
    ... George Herbert (1593-1633), The Poetical Works of George Herbert, New York: D. Appleton, 1857, p. 157-158 (see the book)
    See also Rev. 11:16-17; Ps. 35:18; 107:1; 136:1-3; Matt. 6:9; Luke 22:19-20; 1 Cor. 15:57; Eph. 5:19-20; Col. 3:17; Heb. 13:15; Rev. 4:9
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, correct my ingratitude.

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