Fire and Ice: Puritan and Reformed Writings
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Jordan (I)

by George Herbert


Who says that fictions only and false hair
Become a verse? Is there in truth no beauty?
Is all good structure in a winding stair?
May no lines pass, except they do their duty
     Not to a true, but painted chair?


Is it no verse, except enchanted groves
And sudden arbours shadow coarse-spun lines
Must purling streams refresh a lover's loves?
Must all be veil'd, while he that reads, divines,
     Catching the sense at two removes?


Shepherds are honest people; let them sing:
Riddle who list, for me, and pull for Prime:
I envy no man's nightingale or spring;
Nor let them punish me with loss of rhyme,
     Who plainly say, My God, My King.




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