I have not been as consistent in going through that long poem cycle that Herbert completed. This is beautiful, and refers to a question all that scribble ask. Is what we do of value? I’m aware that there are many honest craftsmen who earn a living spinning yarns. They are more honest than the current journalists. Besides, Chesterton is more remembered for his potboiler Father Brown series than his writing in the national press.
Perhaps we use too many words.
WHo sayes that fictions onely and false hair
Become a verse? Is there in truth no beauty?
Is all good structure in a winding stair?
May no lines passe, except they do their dutie
Not to a true, but painted chair?
Is it no verse, except enchanted groves
And sudden arbours shadow course-spunne lines?
Must purling streams refresh a lovers loves?
Must all be vail’d, while he that reades, divines,
Catching the sense at two removes?
Shepherds are honest people; let them sing:
Riddle who list, for me, and pull for Prime:
I envie no mans nightingale or spring;
Nor let them punish me with losse of rime,
Who plainly say, My God, My King.
George Herbert, The Temple