Verse > Anthologies > The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse > 24. The Collar
Nicholson & Lee, eds.  The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse. 1917.
24. The Collar
By George Herbert  (1593–1633)
  I STRUCK the board, and cry’d, ‘No more;
      I will abroad.’
  What, shall I ever sigh and pine?
My lines and life are free; free as the rode,
  Loose as the winde, as large as store.        5
      Shall I be still in suit?
  Have I no harvest but a thorn
  To let me bloud, and not restore
What I have lost with cordiall fruit?
      Sure there was wine       10
  Before my sighs did drie it; there was corn
    Before my tears did drown it.
  Is the yeare onely lost to me?
    Have I no bayes 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 pleasures; leave thy cold dispute       20
Of what is fit and not; forsake thy cage,
      Thy rope of sands,
Which pettie 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 rav’d and grew more fierce and wilde
      At every word,
  Me thought I heard one calling, ‘Childe’;       35
      And I reply’d, ‘My Lord.’



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