About the poet
George Herbert was born in Montgomery Castle, Shropshire, in 1593 and died at the age of forty....
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 Downloads read by Lavinia Greenlaw & Jo Shapcott