Verse > Anthologies > The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse > 18. Affliction
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Nicholson & Lee, eds.  The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse. 1917.
  
18. Affliction
By George Herbert  (1593–1633)
  
MY heart did heave, and there came forth ‘O God!’
By that I knew that Thou wast in the grief,
To guide and govern it to my relief,
  Making a scepter of the rod:
    Hadst Thou not had Thy part,        5
Sure the unruly sigh had broke my heart.
 
But since Thy breath gave me both life and shape,
Thou know’st my tallies; and when there ’s assign’d
So much breath to a sigh, what’s then behinde?
  Or if some yeares with it escape,       10
    The sigh then onely is
A gale to bring me sooner to my blisse.
 
Thy life on earth was grief, and Thou art still
Constant unto it, making it to be
A point of honour now to grieve in me,       15
  And in Thy members suffer ill.
    They who lament one crosse,
Thou dying dayly, praise Thee to Thy losse.

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