Sunday Poem

The times are mad. The sane are few and far between. It is a time when rhetoric stirs passions and traditions are destroyed for a virtue signals that do not last a season.

Our fathers did but use the world before,
And having used did leave the same to us.
We spill whatever resteth to their store.
What can our heirs inherit but our curse?
For we have sucked the sweet and sap away,
And sowed consumption in the fruitful ground;
The woods and forests clad in rich array
With nakedness and baldness we confound.
We have defaced the lasting monuments,
And caused all honour to have end with us;
The holy temples feel our ravishments.
What can our heirs inherit but our curse?
The world must end, for men are so accurst;
Unless God end it sooner, they will first.

Thomas Bastard, pub 1598.

So it is definitely time for old poetry. This weeks poem speaks to our circumstances: When great trials come/ Nor seeks, nor shuns them, but doth calmly stay.


Who is the honest man?
He that doth still and strongly good pursue,
To God, his neighbour, and himself most true:
Whom neither force nor fawning can
Unpinne, or wrench from giving all their due.

Whose honestie is not
So loose or easie, that a ruffling winde
Can blow away, or glittering look it blinde:
Who rides his sure and even trot,
While the world now rides by, now lags behinde.

Who, when great trials come,
Nor seeks, nor shunnes them; but doth calmly stay,
Till he the thing and the example weigh:
All being brought into a summe,
What place or person calls for, he doth pay.

Whom none can work or wooe
To use in any thing a trick or sleight,
For above all things he abhorres deceit:
His words and works and fashion too
All of a piece, and all are cleare and straight.

Who never melts or thaws
At close tentations: when the day is done,
His goodnesse sets not, but in dark can runne:
The sunne to others writeth laws,
And is their vertue; Vertue is his Sunne.

Who, when he is to treat
With sick folks, women, those whom passions sway,
Allows for that, and keeps his constant way:
Whom others faults do not defeat;
But though men fail him, yet his part doth play.

Whom nothing can procure,
When the wide world runnes bias, from his will
To writhe his limbes, and share, not mend the ill.
This is the Mark-man, safe and sure,
Who still is right, and prayes to be so still.

George Herbert, 1633