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.
 
Man’s Medley
By George Herbert (1593–1633)
 
    HARK how the birds do sing,
        And woods do ring:
All creatures have their joy, and man hath his.
    Yet if we rightly measure,
        Man’s joy and pleasure        5
Rather hereafter than in present is.
 
    To this life things of sense
        Make their pretence;
In th’ other angels have a right by birth:
    Man ties them both alone,        10
        And makes them one
With th’ one hand touching heaven, with t’other earth.
 
    In soul he mounts and flies,
        In flesh he dies;
He wears a stuff whose thread is coarse and round,        15
    But trimmed with curious lace,
        And should take place
After the trimming, not the stuff and ground.
 
    Not that he may not here
        Taste of the cheer:        20
But as birds drink and straight lift up their head,
    So must he sip and think
        Of better drink
He may attain to after he is dead.
 
    But as his joys are double,        25
        So is his trouble;
He hath two winters, other things but one:
    Both frosts and thoughts do nip
        And bite his lip;
And he of all things fears two deaths alone.        30
 
    Yet ev’n the greatest griefs
        May be reliefs,
Could he but take them right and in their ways.
    Happy is he whose heart
        Hath found the art        35
To turn his double pains to double praise.
 
 
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