Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Elizabethan Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Elizabethan Verse.  1907.
 
A Dialogue
By George Herbert (1593–1633)
 
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 transferred 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!
 
 
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