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

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.

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

Good words, or meat.

Like as my parlor, so my hall

And kitchen's small;

A little buttery, and therein

A little bin,

Which keeps my little loaf of bread

Unchipped, unflead;

Some brittle sticks of thorn or briar

Make me a fire,

Close by whose living coal I sit,

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;

The worts, the purslain, and the mess

Of water-cress,

Which of thy kindness thou hast sent;

And my content

Makes those, and my beloved beet,

To be more sweet.

'T is thou that crown'st my glittering hearth

With guiltless mirth,

And giv'st me wassail bowls to drink,

Spiced to the brink.

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

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.


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,

As wholly thine;

But the acceptance, that must be,

My Christ, by thee.