Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of English Verse
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Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919. The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.
  
George Herbert. 1593–1632
  
284. A Dialogue
  
Man.SWEETEST Saviour, if my soul 
  Were but worth the having, 
Quickly should I then control 
  Any thought of waving. 
But when all my care and pains         5
Cannot give the name of gains 
To Thy wretch so full of stains, 
What delight or hope remains? 
 
Saviour.What, child, is the balance thine, 
  Thine the poise and measure?  10
If I say, 'Thou shalt be Mine,' 
  Finger not My treasure. 
What the gains in having thee 
Do amount to, only He 
Who for man was sold can see;  15
That transferr'd th' accounts to Me. 
 
Man.But as I can see no merit 
  Leading to this favour, 
So the way to fit me for it 
  Is beyond my savour.  20
As the reason, then, is Thine, 
So the way is none of mine; 
I disclaim the whole design; 
Sin disclaims and I resign. 
 
Saviour.That is all: if that I could  25
  Get without repining; 
And My clay, My creature, would 
  Follow My resigning; 
That as I did freely part 
With My glory and desert,  30
Left all joys to feel all smart—— 
 
Man.Ah, no more! Thou break'st my heart! 
 
GLOSS:  savour] savoir, knowing.
 
 
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