Love Bade Me Welcome

With Easter in the rear view mirror and my travel to Israel and Greece complete, I was going through several things on my desk in an attempt to organize and return books and materials to their proper places.  However, one book had a marker in it.  The book was some of George Herbert’s (1593-1633) poetry and the marker was at one of his most splendid poems about God’s love.  Herbert was an English minister whose poetry was discovered after his rather early death.

So, as a stunning reminder of what Easter marks most clearly, here is Herbert’s poem, Love III:

Love bade me welcome: yet my soul drew back,
Guiltie of dust and sinne.
But quick-ey’d Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning,
If I lack’d any thing.

A guest, I answer’d, worthy to be here:
Love said, You shall be he.
I the unkinde, ungratefull?  Ah my deare,
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, sayes Love, who bore the blame?
My deare, then I will serve.
You must sit down, sayes Love, and taste my meat:
So I did sit and eat.


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