Thursday, August 12, 2010

Love (III)

Since I first discovered the poetry of Herbert during my freshman year of college, I've had a particular affinity for Love (III). I had memorized it years ago, and it recently came back to my mind. When I got to the last bit, though, I suddenly found it humorous - since I'm now a vegetarian - that such a beloved poem should end with an invitation to eat meat.

by George Herbert

Love bade me welcome, yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-ey'd Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
If I lack'd anything.

"A guest," I answer'd, "worthy to be here";
Love said, "You shall be he."
"I, the unkind, the ungrateful? ah my dear,
I cannot look on thee."
Love took my hand and smiling did reply,
"Who made the eyes but I?"

"Truth, Lord, but I have marr'd them; let my shame
Go where it doth deserve."
"And know you not," says Love, "who bore the blame?"
"My dear, then I will serve."
"You must sit down," says Love, "and taste my meat."
So I did sit and eat.

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