A Poem on Rest by George Herbert

The Pulley

When God first made man,                                                                                                   Having a glass of blessings standing by,                                                                      “Let us”, said he, “pour on him all we can.                                                                     Let the world’s riches, which dispersed lie,                                                                   Contract into a span.”

So strength first made a way;
Then beauty flowed, then wisdom, honour, pleasure.
When almost all was out, God made a stay,
Perceiving that, alone of all his treasure,
Rest in the bottom lay.
“For if I should,” said he,
“Bestow this jewel also on my creature,
He would adore my gifts instead of me,
And rest in Nature, not the God of Nature;
So both should losers be.
“Yet let him keep the rest,
But keep them with repining restlessness;
Let him be rich and weary, that at least,
If goodness lead him not, yet weariness
May toss him to my breast.”
by George Herbert
For more poems by George Herbert go to these posts: