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.
 
222. The Flower
 
George Herbert (1593–1633)
 
 
  HOW fresh, O Lord, how sweet and clean
Are thy returns! Ev’n as the flowers in Spring,
  To which, besides their own demean,
The late-past frosts tributes of pleasure bring;
          Grief melts away        5
          Like snow in May,
    As if there were no such cold thing.
 
  Who would have thought my shrivell’d heart
Could have recover’d greenness? It was gone
  Quite under ground; as flowers depart        10
To see their mother-root, when they have blown,
          Where they together
          All the hard weather,
    Dead to the world, keep house unknown.
 
  These are Thy wonders, Lord of power,        15
Killing and quick’ning, bringing down to Hell
  And up to Heaven in an hour;
Making a chiming of a passing bell.
          We say amiss
          This or that is;        20
    Thy word is all, if we could spell.
 
  O that I once past changing were,
Fast in thy Paradise where no flower can wither!
  Many a Spring I shoot up fair,
Off’ring at Heaven, growing and groaning thither;        25
          Nor doth my flower
          Want a Spring shower,
    My sins and I joining together.
 

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