George Herbert

3 April 1593 – 1 March 1633 / Montgomery, Wales

Jordan (I)

Who says that fictions only and false hair
Become a verse? Is there no truth in beauty?
Is all good structure in a winding stair?
May no lines pass, except they do their duty
Not to a true, but painted chair?

Is it no verse, except enchanted groves
And sudden arbors shadow coarse-spun lines?
Must purling streams refresh a lover's loves?
Must all be veiled, while he that reads, divines,
Catching the sense at two removes?

Shepherds are honest people; let them sing:
Riddle who list, for me, and pull for Prime:
I envy no man's nightingale or spring;
Nor let them punish me with loss of rime,
Who plainly say, My God, My King.
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