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

By George Herbert (1593–1633)

The Pulley

        WHEN God at 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 dispersèd lie,
        Contract into a span.        5
        So strength first made a way;
Then beauty flow’d, 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.        10
        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.        15
        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.        20