Monday, 5 April 2010

Rise, heart

George Herbert

Rise, heart; thy Lord is risen. Sing his praise
Without delayes,
Who takes thee by the hand, that thou likewise
With him mayst rise:
That, as his death calcined thee to dust,
His life may make thee gold, and much more just.

Awake, my lute, and struggle for thy part
With all thy art.
The crosse taught all wood to resound his name
Who bore the same.
His stretched sinews taught all strings, what key
Is best to celebrate this most high day.

Consort both heart and lute, and twist a song
Pleasant and long :
Or since all music is but three parts vied,
And multiplied ;
O let thy blessed Spirit bear a part,
And make up our defects with his sweet art.

I got me flowers to straw thy way ;
I got me boughs off many a tree :
But thou wast up by break of day,
And broughtst thy sweets along with thee.

The Sunne arising in the East,
Though he give light, and the East perfume ;
If they should offer to contest
With thy arising, they presume.

Can there be any day but this,
Though many sunnes to shine endeavour?
We count three hundred, but we misse :
There is but one, and that one ever.


Trychay said...

Dear 'Clerk'

It will be terribly boring if I draw your attention to every occasion when something you write sparks a musical reminiscence in me; but I cannot restrain myself from thanking you for reminding me of Vaughan Williams' Five Mystical Songs, to texts by George Herbert, the first two of which are the texts you've quoted here.

Good wishes


Trychay said...

In the second stanza is Herbert likening the cross to a musical instrument? I am reminded of R S Thomas' poem 'The Musician'.