Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Love, by George Herbert

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Requiem - Dies irae (Day of Wrath)
with English Baroque Soloists & Monteverdi Choir
Barcelona Dec. 1991

Love bade me welcome: yet my soul drew back,
...........Guiltie of dust and sinne.
But quick-ey'd Love, observing me grow slack
...........From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning,
...........If I lack'd any thing.

A guest, I answer'd, worthy to be here:
...........Love said, You shall be he.
I the unkinde, ungratefull? Ah my deare,
...........I cannot look on thee.
Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,
...........Who made the eyes but I?

Truth Lord, but I have marr'd them: let my shame
...........Go where it doth deserve.
And know you not, Sayes Love, who bore the blame?
...........My deare, then I will serve.
You must sit downe, sayes Love, and taste my meat:
...........So I did sit and eat.

(The Temple, 1633)

1 comment:

Manuela said...

Today I found this on a website about Simone Weil (http://simoneweil.net/love.htm):

Weil dearly loved this poem by George Herbert (1593-1633), and it was instrumental in her approach to Christianity:

Je vous mets ci-joint le poème anglais que je vous avais récité, Love; il joué un grand rôle dans ma vie, car j'étais occupée à me le réciter à moi-même, à ce moment où, pour la première fois, le Christ est venu me prendre. Je croyais ne faire que redire un beau poème, et à mon insu c'était une prière. (799)

I hereby include the English poem that I recited to you, Love; it played a big role in my life, for I was busy reciting it to myself at the moment when, for the first time, Christ came to take me. I believed I was merely resaying a beautiful poem, and unbeknownst to myself, it was a prayer.