Original Text: 
George Herbert, The temple. Sacred poems and private ejaculations, edited by N. Ferrar (Cambridge: T. Buck and R. Daniel, 1633). STC 13183. Facs. edn. Menston: Scolar Press, 1968. PR 3507 T45 1633A. Also The Bodleian Manuscript of George Herbert's Poems: A Facsimile of Tanner 307, Introduced by Amy M. Charles and Mario A. Di Cesare. Delmar: Scholars' Facsimiles and Reprints, 1984. PR 3507 T45 1984 ROBA.
2Light and perfections on the breast,
3      Harmonious bells below, raising the dead
4To lead them unto life and rest:
5           Thus are true Aarons drest.
6           Profaneness in my head,
7Defects and darkness in my breast,
8      A noise of passions ringing me for dead
9Unto a place where is no rest:
10           Poor priest, thus am I drest.
11           Only another head
12I have, another heart and breast,
13      Another music, making live, not dead,
14Without whom I could have no rest:
15           In him I am well drest.
16           Christ is my only head,
17My alone-only heart and breast,
18      My only music, striking me ev'n dead,
20           And be in him new-drest.
21           So, holy in my head,
22Perfect and light in my dear breast,
23      My doctrine tun'd by Christ (who is not dead,
24But lives in me while I do rest),
25           Come people; Aaron's drest.


1] Aaron is the type of the ideal priest, whose vestments and consecration are described in Exodus 28. Verse 30 reads "And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgement the Urim and Thummim and they shall be upon Aaron's heart when he goeth in before the Lord..."; verse 34 reads "a golden bell and a pomegranate upon the hem of the robe round about." Urim and Thummim were either jewels or small figures used in divination; the words mean "lights" and "perfections" in Hebrew. Back to Line
19] the old man: our inheritance of the sinful nature of Adam redeemed by Christ, as in Romans 6:6, "our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed."
rest: die. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
N. J. Endicott
RPO Edition: 
3RP 1.216-17.