The Collar

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.
2      I will abroad.
3What! shall I ever sigh and pine?
4My lines and life are free; free as the road,
7      Have I no harvest but a thorn
8      To let me blood, and not restore
10                Sure there was wine
11      Before my sighs did dry it; there was corn
12           Before my tears did drown it.
13      Is the year only lost to me?
15No flowers, no garlands gay? all blasted?
16                All wasted?
17      Not so, my heart; but there is fruit,
18                And thou hast hands.
19           Recover all thy sigh-blown age
20On double pleasures; leave thy cold dispute
21Of what is fit and not; forsake thy cage,
22                Thy rope of sands,
23Which petty thoughts have made, and made to thee
24      Good cable, to enforce and draw,
25                And be thy law,
27                Away! take heed;
28                I will abroad.
29Call in thy death's-head there; tie up thy fears;
30                He that forbears
31           To suit and serve his need
32                Deserves his load."
33But as I rav'd, and grew more fierce and wild
34                At every word,
35      Me thoughts I heard one calling, "Child";
36                And I replied, "My Lord."


1] Suggesting discipline with probable reference to Matthew 11:20-30: "Take my yoke upon you ... for my yoke is easy."
board: table. Back to Line
5] store: abundance. Back to Line
6] in suit: pertaining. Back to Line
9] cordial: medicinally stimulating. Back to Line
14] bays: the bay-leaf wreath of honour. Back to Line
26] wink: close eyes. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
N. J. Endicott
RPO Edition: 
3RP 1.215.