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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
The Pilgrimage
By George Herbert (1593–1633)
 
I TRAVELED on, seeing the hill where lay
            My expectation.
    A long it was and weary way,
      The gloomy cave of Desperation
I left on the one, and on the other side        5
            The rock of Pride.
 
And so I came to Fancy’s meadow, strowed
            With many a flower;
    Fain would I here have made abode,
      But I was quickened by my hour.        10
So to Care’s copse I came, and there got through
            With much ado.
 
That led me to the wild of Passion, which
            Some call the wold;
    A wasted place, but sometimes rich.        15
      Here I was robbed of all my gold,—
Save one good angel, 1 which a friend had tied
            Close to my side.
 
At length I got unto the gladsome hill
            Where lay my hope,        20
    Where lay my heart; and climbing still,
      When I had gained the brow and top
A lake of brackish waters on the ground
            Was all I found.
 
With that, abashed and struck with many a sting        25
            Of swarming fears,
    I fell, and cried, “Alas, my King!
      Can both the way and end be tears?”
Yet taking heart, I rose, and then perceived
            I was deceived.        30
 
My hill was farther; so I flung away,
            Yet heard a cry
    Just as I went,—“None goes that way
      And lives.” “If that be all,” said I,
“After so foul a journey, death is fair,        35
            And but a chair.”
 
Note 1. A gold angel was a piece of money of the value of ten shillings, bearing the figure of an angel. [back]
 
 
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