One of the side effects of reading a lot of poetry is that it has lodged itself in my peat-bog brain, and, as with a real bog, bits of accumulate matter filter to the top for no particular reason.

For the last few days, this poem has been pressing upon my consciousness. It's one of George Herbert's poems, originally published in The Temple in 1633.


Sweet day, so cool, so calm, so bright,
The bridal of the earth and sky;
The dew shall weep thy fall to-night,
For thou must die.

Sweet rose, whose hue angry and brave
Bids the rash gazer wipe his eye;
Thy root is ever in its grave,
And thou must die.

Sweet spring, full of sweet days and roses,
A box where sweets compacted lie;
My music shows ye have your closes,
And all must die.

Only a sweet and virtuous soul,
Like season'd timber, never gives;
But though the whole world turn to coal,
Then chiefly lives.

I think there's a lot that can be said about this, but I'm often struck by the way Herbert uses repetition and parallelism, here and elsewhere. I like this poem; it's on of Heberts that inevitably makes me think of Donne.