The Flower (excerpts)

George Herbert

 Who would have thought my shriveled heart

Could have recovered greenness? It was gone

 Quite underground; as flowers depart

To see their mother-root, when they have blown;

        Where they together

        All the hard weather,

 Dead to the world, keep house unknown.

 These are thy wonders, Lord of power,

Killing and quickening, bringing down to hell

 And up to heaven in an hour;

Making a chiming of a passing-bell,

        We say amiss,

        “This or that is”:

 Thy word is all, if we could spell …

 And now in age I bud again,

After so many deaths I live and write;

 I once more smell the dew and rain,

And relish versing: O my only light,

        It cannot be

        That I am he

 On whom thy tempests fell all night.

 These are thy wonders, Lord of love,

To make us see we are but flowers that glide:

 Which when we once can find and prove,

Thou hast a garden for us, where to [a]bide.

        Who would be more,

          Swelling through store,

 Forfeit their Paradise by their pride. 

CH 119

Order Christian History #119: The Wonder of Creation in print.

Subscribe now to get future print issues in your mailbox (donation requested but not required).

This article is from Christian History magazine #119 The Wonder of Creation. Read it in context here!

By George Herbert

[Christian History originally published this article in Christian History Issue #119 in 2016]

George Herbert (1593–1633) was an Anglican priest and poet.
Next articles

Christian History Timeline: Creation Care

Christians have talked about God’s creation as an inspiration and a responsibility for 2,000 years

the editor

God’s Grandeur

A poem written in 1877 and published after Hopkins’s death in Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins (1918)

Gerard Manley Hopkins

Fellow travelers?

Modern nature activism includes some writers and thinkers strongly influenced by Christian faith

Matt Forster

Something here sounds familiar

An evangelical professor responds to Pope Francis’s call for creation care

Loren Wilkinson
Show more

Subscribe to magazine

Subscription to Christian History magazine is on a donation basis


Support us

Christian History Institute (CHI) is a non-profit Pennsylvania corporation founded in 1982. Your donations support the continuation of this ministry


Subscribe to daily emails

Containing today’s events, devotional, quote and stories