Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Grateful Heart

A sign hangs on our kitchen which has a quotation from George Herbert: "Thou that has given us so much, give us one more thing, a grateful heart."

Herbert was a Welsh-born English poet, orator and cleric. He served a stint in Parliment during the reign of King James, but returned to the ministry after King James' death.

I was surprised and happy to find the poem from which the quotation was lifted (and apparently altered). The final stanza is offset just as Herbert had it done when the poem was originally published:

by George Herbert (1593- 1633)

Thou that hast giv'n so much to me,
Give one thing more, a grateful heart.
See how thy beggar works on thee
By art.

He makes thy gifts occasion more,
And says, If he in this be crossed,
All thou hast giv'n him heretofore
Is lost.

But thou didst reckon, when at first
Thy word our hearts and hands did crave,
What it would come to at the worst
To save.

Perpetual knockings at thy door,
Tears sullying thy transparent rooms,
Gift upon gift, much would have more,
And comes.

This not withstanding, thou wenst on,
And didst allow us all our noise:
Nay thou hast made a sigh and groan
Thy joys.

Not that thou hast not still above
Much better tunes, than groans can make;
But that these country-airs thy love
Did take.

Wherefore I cry, and cry again;
And in no quiet canst thou be,
Till I a thankful heart obtain
Of thee:

Not thankful, when it pleaseth me;
As if thy blessings had spare days:
But such a heart, whose pulse may be
Thy praise.

Happy Thanksgiving.

1 comment:

  1. I like that last stanza, and the idea of praise as constant as our heartbeat. Thanks for sharing.

    Happy Thanksgiving!