By George Herbert 1593–1633 George Herbert
                Holiness on the head,
         Light and perfections on the breast,
Harmonious bells below, raising the dead
         To lead them unto life and rest:
                Thus are true Aarons drest.

                Profaneness in my head,
         Defects and darkness in my breast,
A noise of passions ringing me for dead
         Unto a place where is no rest:
                Poor priest, thus am I drest.

                Only another head
         I have, another heart and breast,
Another music, making live, not dead,
         Without whom I could have no rest:
                In him I am well drest.

                Christ is my only head,
         My alone-only heart and breast,
My only music, striking me ev'n dead,
         That to the old man I may rest,
                And be in him new-drest.

                So, holy in my head,
         Perfect and light in my dear breast,
My doctrine tun'd by Christ (who is not dead,
         But lives in me while I do rest),
                Come people; Aaron's drest.

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Poet George Herbert 1593–1633


SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

Subjects God & the Divine, Christianity, Death, Living, Religion, Faith & Doubt

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

 George  Herbert


Nestled somewhere within the Age of Shakespeare and the Age of Milton is George Herbert. There is no Age of Herbert: he did not consciously fashion an expansive literary career for himself, and his characteristic gestures, insofar as these can be gleaned from his poems and other writings, tend to be careful self-scrutiny rather than rhetorical pronouncement; local involvement rather than broad social engagement; and complex, . . .

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SUBJECT God & the Divine, Christianity, Death, Living, Religion, Faith & Doubt


SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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