Who says that fictions only and false hair
Become a verse? Is there in truth no beauty?
Is all good structure in a winding stair?
May no lines pass, except they do their duty
Not to a true, but painted chair?

Is it no verse, except enchanted groves
And sudden arbours shadow coarse-spun lines?
Must purling streams refresh a lover's loves?
Must all be veiled, while he that reads divines,
Catching the sense at two removes?

Shepherds are honest people: let them sing:
Riddle who list, for me, and pull for prime:
I envy no man's nightingale or spring;
Nor let them punish me with loss or rhyme,
Who plainly say, My God, My King.

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George Herbert

George Herbert Downloads read by Lavinia Greenlaw & Jo Shapcott

1The Collar (read by Lavinia Greenlaw)


2Redemption (read by Lavinia Greenlaw)


3Affliction (read by Lavinia Greenlaw)


4Jordan (read by Lavinia Greenlaw)


5Vanity (read by Lavinia Greenlaw)


6Love (read by Jo Shapcott)