I am drawn back toward poetry, as a soul-refreshing refuge as well as a world-inspiring weapon. Today, teaching a reluctant writer in our family, I told him that garnering facts to win an argument is no more use than speaking truth without love; you just become a clanging symbol. It is poetry (and love) that wins hearts and minds, and ultimately battles. Perhaps I will share more of this idea (perhaps) during this National Poetry Month. But now I reflect on the wounds that show the love of my precious Savior, and I hope it will cause you to mourn awhile so you can then rejoice more fully, realizing what His sacrifice cost.
by George Herbert (1593-1633)
Philosophers have measured mountains,
Fathomed the depths of seas, of states, and kings,
Walked with a staff to heav’n, and traced fountains.
But there are two vast, spacious things,
The which to measure it doth more behove:
Yet few there are that sound them; Sin and Love.
Who would know Sin, let him repair
Unto Mount Olivet; there shall he see
A man so wrung with pains, that all his hair,
His skin, his garments bloody be.
Sin is that press and vice, which forceth pain
To hunt his cruel food through ev’ry vein.
Who knows not Love, kept him assay
And taste that juice, which on the cross a pike
Did set again abroach; then let him say
If ever he did taste the like.
Love is that liquor sweet and most divine,
Which my God feels as blood; but I, as wine.
Do you see the ABABCC rhyme scheme?
What do the words “behove” and “assay” mean? Do you see the imagery of measuring and testing?
What other metaphors does this poem contain?