Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. II. Ben Jonson to Dryden
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. II. The Seventeenth Century: Ben Jonson to Dryden
 
A Thanksgiving to God
By Robert Herrick (1591–1674)
 
LORD, thou hast given me a cell,
            Wherein to dwell;
A little house, whose humble roof
            Is weather proof;
Under the spars of which I lie        5
            Both soft and dry;
Where thou, my chamber for to ward,
            Hast set a guard
Of harmless thoughts, to watch and keep
            Me, while I sleep.        10
Low is my porch, as is my fate;
            Both void of state;
And yet the threshold of my door
            Is worn by th’ poor,
Who thither come, and freely get        15
            Good words, or meat.
Like as my parlour, so my hall
            And kitchen’s small;
A little buttery, and therein
            A little bin,        20
Which keeps my little loaf of bread
            Unchipt, unflead;
Some brittle sticks of thorn or briar
            Make me a fire,
Close by whose living coal I sit,        25
            And glow like it.
Lord, I confess too, when I dine,
            The pulse is thine,
And all those other bits that be
            There placed by thee;        30
The worts, the purslain, and the mess
            Of water-cress,
Which of thy kindness thou hast sent;
            And my content
Makes those, and my belovèd beet,        35
            To be more sweet.
’Tis thou that crown’st my glittering hearth
            With guiltless mirth,
And giv’st me wassail bowls to drink,
            Spiced to the brink.        40
Lord, ’tis thy plenty-dropping hand
            That soils my land,
And giv’st me, for my bushel sown,
            Twice ten for one;
Thou mak’st my teeming hen to lay        45
            Her egg each day;
Besides, my healthful ewes to bear
            Me twins each year;
The while the conduits of my kine
            Run cream, for wine:        50
All these, and better, thou dost send
            Me, to this end,—
That I should render, for my part,
            A thankful heart;
Which, fired with incense, I resign,        55
            As wholly thine;
—But the acceptance, that must be,
            My Christ, by Thee.
 
 
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