Whose sparkling light access denies

Having submitted final grades my first semester teaching is complete. I had known it would be intense, but wow, what a blur! With that behind me I will fill the next couple weeks wearing out my knees playing with my kids, devouring a stack of fiction next to the bed, and swimming around in a good deal of poetry (ahhhh).

From George Herbert as I laid by the fireplace last evening:  “Ungratefulness”.

Lord, with what bounty and rare clemency

Hast though redeemed us from the grave!

If thou has let us run,

Gladly had man adored the sun,

And though his god most brave;

Where now we shall be better gods than he.

Thou hast but two rare cabinets full of treasure,

The Trinity, and Incarnation:

Thou has unlocked them both,

And made them jewels to betroth

The work of thy creation

Unto thyself in everlasting pleasure.

The statelier cabinet is the Trinity,

Whose sparkling light access denies:

Therefore thou dost not show

This fully to us, till death blow

The dust into our eyes.

For by that powder thou wilt make us see.

But all thy sweets are packed up in the other;

Thy mercies thither flock and flow:

That as the first affrights,

This may allure us with delights;

Because this box we know;

For we have all of us just such another.

But man is close, reserved, and dark to thee:

When thou demandest but a heart,

He cavils instantly.

In his poor cabinet of bone

Sins have their box apart,

Defrauding thee, who gavest two for one.


4 thoughts on “Whose sparkling light access denies

  1. I love George Herbert. Have you read “The Church-Floore”? It’s excellent. But nothing beats the divine poems of John Donne or his “The Flea.” “The Sun Rising” is also great if one wishes to score points with the wife or girlfriend! :)

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