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
 
The Pulley
By George Herbert (1593–1633)
 
    WHEN God at first made man,
Having a glass of blessing standing by;
Let us (said he) pour on him all we can:
Let the world’s riches which dispersed 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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