The Quip

By George Herbert 1593–1633 George Herbert
   The merry World did on a day
With his train-bands and mates agree
To meet together where I lay,
And all in sport to jeer at me.

   First Beauty crept into a rose,
Which when I pluck'd not, "Sir," said she,
"Tell me, I pray, whose hands are those?"
But Thou shalt answer, Lord, for me.

   Then Money came, and chinking still,
"What tune is this, poor man?" said he;
"I heard in music you had skill:"
But Thou shalt answer, Lord, for me.

   Then came brave Glory puffing by
In silks that whistled, who but he?
He scarce allow'd me half an eye:
But Thou shalt answer, Lord, for me.

   Then came quick Wit and Conversation,
And he would needs a comfort be,
And, to be short, make an oration:
But Thou shalt answer, Lord, for me.

   Yet when the hour of Thy design
To answer these fine things shall come,
Speak not at large, say, I am Thine;
And then they have their answer home.

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Poet George Herbert 1593–1633

POET’S REGION Wales

SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

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

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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

POET’S REGION Wales

SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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