By George Herbert (1593-1633)

Sweet Peace, where dost thou dwell? I humbly crave,

Let me once know.

I sought thee in a secret cave,

And asked, if Peace were there,

A hollow wind did seem to answer, No:

Go seek elsewhere.

I did; and going did a rainbow note:

Surely, thought I,

This is the lace of Peace’s coat:

I will search out the matter.

But while I looked the clouds immediately

Did break and scatter.

Then went I to a garden and did spy

A gallant flower,

The crown-imperial: Sure, said I,

Peace at the root must dwell.

But when I digged, I saw a worm devour

What showed so well.

At length I met a rev’rend good old man;

Whom when for Peace

I did demand, he thus began:

There was a Prince of old

At Salem dwelt, who lived with good increase

Of flock and fold.

He sweetly lived; yet sweetness did not save

His life from foes.

But after death out of his grave

There sprang twelve stalks of wheat;

Which many wond’ring at, got some of those

To plant and set.

It prospered strangely, and did soon disperse

Through all the earth:

For they that taste it do rehearse

That virtue lies therein;

A secret virtue, bringing peace and mirth

By flight of sin.

Take of this grain, which in my garden grows,

And grows for you;

Make bread of it: and that repose,

And peace, which ev’ry where

With so much earnestness you do pursue

Is only there.

Published by Robin

I'm a retired journalist who still has stories to tell. This seems to be a good place to tell them.

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