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.