Tuesday, 2 July 2019

SO I DID SIT AND EAT

So I did sit and eat the grand repast
      Which Love had kindly spread;
First love gave me roast lamb to break my fast,
      Adding unleavened bread
And bitter herbs; no other food surpassed
      The meal on which I fed!

And Love had brought me to His house of wine
      While Love became my banner:
The richness and variety was fine
      Because Love was the planner;
The apples and the raisin-cakes were mine
      And all served in Love's manner.

Love having drawn us till we would not roam,
      By Love's unfathomed art,
Asked, "Have you any food?"; we were at home
      And so we gave Love part
Of a broiled fish, and of a honey-comb,
      To satisfy Love's heart.

This is a reaction to the great George Herbert's poem Love (III):

Love bade me welcome. Yet my soul drew back
        Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
        From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning,
        If I lacked any thing.

A guest, I answered, worthy to be here:
        Love said, You shall be he.
I the unkind, ungrateful? Ah my dear,
        I cannot look on thee.
Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,
        Who made the eyes but I?

Truth Lord, but I have marred them: let my shame
        Go where it doth deserve.
And know you not, says Love, who bore the blame?
        My dear, then I will serve.
You must sit down, says Love, and taste my meat:
        So I did sit and eat.

3 comments:

I'm glad to hear how this strikes you!