Sunday Poem.

Actually, two poems, but one is only two lines long.

The second poem fits with all saints day, which is tomorrow, November 1.

The Collect for all Saint’s Day is this:

O Almighty God, who hast knit together thine elect in one communion and fellowship, in the mystical body of thy Son Christ our Lord: Grant us grace so to follow thy blessed Saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those unspeakable joys, which thou hast prepared for them that unfeignedly love thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Anglicans, as in many things, take a reformed position but in practice use ancient ideas. At times they are overly inclusive. The poem shows this balance.

To all Angels and Saints.

OH glorious spirits, who after all your bands
See the smooth face of God without a frown
Or strict commands;
Where ev’ry one is king, and hath his crown,
If not upon his head, yet in his hands:

Not out of envie or maliciousnesse
So I forbear to crave your speciall aid:
I would addresse
My vows to thee most gladly, Blessed Maid,
And Mother of my God, in my distresse.

Thou art the holy mine, whence came the gold,
The great restorative for all decay
In young and old;
Thou art the cabinet where the jewell lay:
Chiefly to thee would I my soul unfold:

But now, alas, I dare not; for our King,
Whom we do all joyntly adore and praise,
Bids no such thing:
And where his pleasure no injunction layes,
(’Tis your own case) ye never move a wing.

All worship is prerogative, and a flower
Of his rich crown, from whom lyes no appeal
At the last houre:
Therefore we dare not from his garland steal,
To make a posie of inferiour power.

Although then others court you, if ye know
What’s done on earth, we shall not fare the worse,
Who do not so;
Since we are ever ready to disburse,
If any one our Masters hand can show.

George Herbert, The Temple, 1633