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Lord, who createdest man in wealth and store.
Though foolishly he lost the same
Till he became
Most Poor
With Thee
O let me rise
As larks harmoniously,
And sing this day. Thy victories:
Then shall the fall further the flight in me

My tender age in sorrow did begin:
And still with sickness and shame
Though did’st so punish sin
That I became
Most thin
With thee
Let me combine
And feel thy victory:
For if I imp* my wing on thine Affliction shall advance the flight in me.

George Herbert

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*graft

 

This poem is written in the camen style or Figure poem. Herbert makes a stanza that suggests the shape of wings and also the form of his argument; the stanza grows poorest and thinnest with the words “most poor” and “most thin.

 

By Margaret Hall Simpson


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