Verse > Anthologies > The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse > 20. Dialogue
Nicholson & Lee, eds.  The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse. 1917.
20. Dialogue
By George Herbert  (1593–1633)

SWEETEST Saviour, if my soul
  Were but worth the having,
Quickly should I then controll
  Any thought of waving.
But when all my cares and pains        5
Cannot give the name of gains
To Thy wretch so full of stains,
What delight or hope remains?

What, childe, is the ballance 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, onely He
Who for man was sold can see;       15
That transferr’d th’ accounts to Me.

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 designe;
Sinne disclaims and I resigne.

That is all:—if that I could
  Get without repining;
And My clay, My creature, would
  Follow my resigning;
That as I did freely part
With my glorie and desert,       30
Left all joyes to feel all smart—

Ah, no more: Thou break’st my heart.



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