Sin (I)

By George Herbert 1593–1633 George Herbert

Lord, with what care hast thou begirt us round!
      Parents first season us; then schoolmasters
      Deliver us to laws; they send us bound
To rules of reason, holy messengers,
Pulpits and Sundays, sorrow-dogging sin,
      Afflictions sorted, anguish of all sizes,
      Fine nets and stratagems to catch us in,
Bibles laid open, millions of surprises,
Blessings beforehand, ties of gratefulness,
      The sound of glory ringing in our ears,
      Without, our shame, within, our consciences,
Angels and grace, eternal hopes and fears.
      Yet all these fences and their whole array
      One cunning bosom-sin blows quite away.

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet George Herbert 1593–1633

POET’S REGION Wales

SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

Subjects Religion, Living, School & Learning, Activities, Relationships, Coming of Age, Christianity, God & the Divine

Poetic Terms Sonnet

 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, . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Religion, Living, School & Learning, Activities, Relationships, Coming of Age, Christianity, God & the Divine

POET’S REGION Wales

SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

Poetic Terms Sonnet

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.