Verse > Anthologies > Harvard Classics > English Poetry I: From Chaucer to Gray
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   English Poetry I: From Chaucer to Gray.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
221. The Collar
 
George Herbert (1593–1633)
 
 
I STRUCK the board and cried, “No more;
      I will abroad.
What, shall I ever sigh and pine?
My lines and life are free, free as the road,
Loose as the wind, as large as store.        5
      Shall I be still in suit?
Have I no harvest but a thorn
To let me blood, and not restore
What I have lost with cordial fruit?
      Sure there was wine        10
Before my sighs did dry it; there was corn
Before my tears did drown it.
Is the year only lost to me?
Have I no bays to crown it?
No flowers, no garlands gay? All blasted?        15
      All wasted?
Not so, my heart; but there is fruit,
      And thou hast hands.
Recover all thy sigh-blown age
On double pleasure: leave thy cold dispute        20
Of what is fit and not; forsake thy cage,
      Thy rope of sands
Which petty thoughts have made, and made to thee
Good cable, to enforce and draw
      And be thy law,        25
While thou didst wink and wouldst not see.
      Away: take heed,
      I will abroad.
Call in thy death’s head there: tie up thy fears.
      He that forbears        30
      To suit and serve his need
      Deserves his load.”
But as I raved and grew more fierce and wild
      At every word,
Methought I heard one calling ‘Child!’        35
And I replied, ‘My Lord!’
 

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