by George Herbert
O my chief good,
How shall I measure out thy blood?
How shall I count what thee befell,
And each grief tell?
Shall I thy woes
Number according to thy foes?
Or, since one star show’d thy first breath,
Shall all thy death ?
Or shall each leaf,
Which falls in Autumn, score a grief?
Or cannot leaves, but fruit, be sign,
Of the true vine?
Then let each hour
Of my whole life one grief devour;
That thy distress through all may run,
And be my sun.
Or rather let
My several sins their sorrows get;
That, as each beast his cure doth know,
Each sin may so.
Since blood is fittest, Lord, to write
Thy sorrows in, and bloody fight;
My heart hath store; write there, where in
One box doth lie both ink and sin:
That when sin spies so many foes,
Thy whips, thy nails, thy wounds, thy woes,
All come to lodge there, sin may say,
No room for me , and fly away.
Sin being gone, O fill the place,
And keep possession with thy grace;
Lest sin take courage and return,
And all the writings blot or burn.