Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. II. Ben Jonson to Dryden
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. II. The Seventeenth Century: Ben Jonson to Dryden
 
Misery
By George Herbert (1593–1633)
 
  LORD, let the angels praise Thy name:
Man is a foolish thing, a foolish thing;
  Folly and sin play all his game;
His house still burns, and yet he still doth sing—
                Man is but grass,        5
              He knows it—Fill the glass!
*        *        *        *        *
  Man cannot serve Thee: let him go
And serve the swine—there, there is his delight:
  He doth not like this virtue, no;
Give him his dirt to wallow in all night:        10
                These preachers make
              His head to shoot and ache.
*        *        *        *        *
  Indeed, at first Man was a treasure,
A box of jewels, shop of rarities,
  A ring whose posy was ‘My pleasure’;        15
He was a garden in a Paradise;
                Glory and grace
              Did crown his heart and face.
 
  But sin hath fool’d him; now he is
A lump of flesh, without a foot or wing        20
  To raise him to a glimpse of bliss;
A sick-toss’d vessel, dashing on each thing,
                Nay, his own shelf;
              My God, I mean myself.
 
 
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