Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. IV. The Higher Life
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume IV. The Higher Life.  1904.
 
IV. Sabbath: Worship: Creed
Peace
George Herbert (1593–1633)
 
SWEET Peace, where dost thou dwell? I humbly crave,
        Let me once know.
    I sought thee in a secret cave;
        And asked if Peace were there.
A hollow wind did seem to answer, “No!        5
        Go, seek elsewhere.”
 
I did; and, going, did a rainbow note:
        “Surely,” thought I,
    “This is the lace of Peace’s coat.
        I will search out the matter.”        10
But, while I looked, the clouds immediately
        Did break and scatter.
 
Then went I to a garden, and did spy
        A gallant flower,—
The crown-imperial. “Sure,” said I,        15
        “Peace at the root must dwell.”
But, when I digged, I saw a worm devour
        What showed so well.
 
At length I met a reverend, good old man;
        Whom when for Peace        20
    I did demand, he thus began:
        “There was a prince of old
At Salem dwelt, who lived with good increase
        Of flock and fold.
 
“He sweetly lived; yet sweetness did not save        25
        His life from foes.
    But, after death, out of his grave
        There sprang twelve stalks of wheat;
Which many wondering at, got some of those
        To plant and set.        30
 
“It prospered strangely, and did soon disperse
        Through all the earth.
    For they that taste it do rehearse,
        That virtue lies therein,—
A secret virtue, bringing peace and mirth,        35
        By flight of sin.
 
“Take of this grain, which in my garden grows,
        And grows for you:
Make bread of it; and that repose
        And peace which everywhere        40
With so much earnestness you do pursue,
        Is only there.”
 
 
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