Thursday, July 22, 2010

Some links to Herbert

Thanks to my friend Kia Penso, an ardent admirer of 17th Century English lyrics, we now have a link to all of George Herbert's The Temple. The Table of Contents is here. In an email, Kia recommended several poems, including Affliction (I), which a few of us were enthralled by the other day. Here's Kia's brief list, with links to the individual poems:

Affliction (i) "When first thou didst entice to thee my heart")

Another poem, quite long, entitled the Perirrhanterium, precedes the Temple and seems to offer the reader instructions on preparing to enter  it. The word [fr. Gk perirranth, to besprinkle] is rare : "an instrument used for sprinkling holy water, esp. upon the newly baptised, or the font used for such."

The relevance of Herbert in the context of Milton and the British Protestant imagination is clear. Take, for example, these two stanzas from The Holy Communion:

Before that sinne turn’d flesh to stone,

And all our lump to leaven;
A fervent sigh might well have blown
Our innocent earth to heaven.

For sure when Adam did not know
To sinne, or sinne to smother;
He might to heav’n from Paradise go,
As from one room t’another.

More on Herbert here. Many thanks to Kia, who blogs at Gall and Gumption.

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