Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Elizabethan Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Elizabethan Verse.  1907.
 
The Pulley
By George Herbert (1593–1633)
 
      WHEN God at first made Man,
Having a glass of blessings standing by—
Let us (said He) pour on him all we can;
Let the world’s riches, which dispersèd lie,
      Contract into a span.        5
 
      So strength first made a way,
Then beauty flow’d, then wisdom, honour, pleasure;
When almost all was out, God made a stay,
Perceiving that, alone of all His treasure,
      Rest in the bottom lay.        10
 
      For if I should (said He)
Bestow this jewel also on My creature,
He would adore My gifts instead of Me,
And rest in Nature, not the God of Nature:
      So both should losers be.        15
 
      Yet let him keep the rest,
But keep them with repining restlessness;
Let him be rich and weary, that at least,
If goodness lead him not, yet weariness
      May toss him to My breast.        20
 
 
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