Home  »  Lyra Sacra: A Book of Religious Verse  »  From “The Church Porch”: Friendship

Henry Charles Beeching, ed. (1859–1919). Lyra Sacra: A Book of Religious Verse. 1903.

By George Herbert (1593–1633)

From “The Church Porch”: Friendship

THY friend put in thy bosom: wear his eyes
Still in thy heart, that he may see what’s there.
If cause require, thou art his sacrifice;
Thy drops of blood must pay down all his fear;
  But love is lost; the way of friendship’s gone,        5
  Though David had his Jonathan, Christ His John.
Yet be not surety, if thou be a father.
Love is a personal debt. I cannot give
My children’s right, nor ought he take it: rather
Both friends should die, than hinder them to live:        10
  Fathers first enter bonds to nature’s ends;
  And are her sureties, ere they are a friend’s.