The Hold-fast

By George Herbert 1593–1633 George Herbert

I threaten'd to observe the strict decree
    Of my dear God with all my power and might;
    But I was told by one it could not be;
Yet I might trust in God to be my light.
"Then will I trust," said I, "in Him alone."
    "Nay, e'en to trust in Him was also His:
    We must confess that nothing is our own."
"Then I confess that He my succour is."
"But to have nought is ours, not to confess
    That we have nought." I stood amaz'd at this,
    Much troubled, till I heard a friend express
That all things were more ours by being His;
    What Adam had, and forfeited for all,
    Christ keepeth now, who cannot fail or fall.

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Poet George Herbert 1593–1633

POET’S REGION Wales

SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

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

Holidays Easter

Poetic Terms Sonnet, Allusion

 George  Herbert

Biography

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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Poem Categorization

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

POET’S REGION Wales

SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

Poetic Terms Sonnet, Allusion

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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