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.
 
VI. Human Experience
“Said I not so?”
George Herbert (1593–1633)
 
SAID I not so,—that I would sin no more?
    Witness, my God, I did;
Yet I am run again upon the score:
    My faults cannot be hid.
 
What shall I do?—make vows and break them still?        5
    ’T will be but labor lost;
My good cannot prevail against mine ill:
    The business will be crost.
 
O, say not so; thou canst not tell what strength
    Thy God may give thee at the length.        10
Renew thy vows, and if thou keep the last,
    Thy God will pardon all that’s past.
Vow while thou canst; while thou canst vow, thou may’st
    Perhaps perform it when thou thinkest least.
 
    Thy God hath not denied thee all,        15
    Whilst he permits thee but to call.
    Call to thy God for grace to keep
    Thy vows; and if thou break them, weep.
Weep for thy broken vows, and vow again:
Vows made with tears cannot be still in vain.        20
          Then once again
        I vow to mend my ways;
          Lord, say Amen,
        And thine be all the praise.
 
 
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