George Herbert


SWEET Peace, where dost thou dwell? I humbly crave,
                      Let me once know. 
          I sought thee in a secret cave, 
                And ask'd, 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 lookt, 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 digg'd, I saw a worm devour
                      What show'd 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 liv'd with good increase
                      Of flock and fold.

He sweetly liv'd; yet sweetness did not save
                      His life from foes. 
           But after death out of his grave 
                 There sprang twelve stalks of wheat: 
Which many wondring at, got some of those
                      To plant and set.

It prosper'd 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. 

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