Prayer

by George Herbert

Prayer the Churches banquet, Angels age,
        Gods breath in man returning to his birth,
        The soul in paraphrase, heart in pilgrimage,
The Christian plummet sounding heav’n and earth ;

Engine against th’ Almightie, sinner’s towre,
        Reversed thunder, Christ-side-piercing spear,
        The six daies world-transposing in an houre,
A kinde of tune, which all things heare and fear ;

Softnesse, and peace, and joy, and love, and blisse,
        Exalted Manna, gladnesse of the best,
        Heaven in ordinarie, man well drest,
The milkie way, the bird of Paradise,

        Church-bels beyond the stars heard, the souls bloud,
        The land of spices, something understood.

 

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Read by Anna Evans, whose poems have appeared in the Harvard Review, Atlanta Review, Rattle, and 32 Poems. A 2011 MacDowell Fellow, she gained her MFA from Bennington College, and is the Editor of The Raintown Review. Her chapbooks Swimming and Selected Sonnets are available from Maverick Duck Press.
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