“You must sit down, sayes Love, and taste my meat”

Somehow September got away without a single trip to the poetry corner. I attempt to atone by posting what may be my favorite poem of all time. I first heard it (as I first heard so many other things) from Jim Walsh. It’s by George Herbert, and I think he published it in 1633, the year he died.

Love. (III)

Love bade me welcome: yet my soul drew back,
Guiltie of dust and sinne.
But quick-ey’d Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning,
If I lack’d any thing.

A guest, I answer’d, worthy to be here:
Love said, You shall be he.
I the unkinde, ungratefull? Ah my deare,
I cannot look on thee.
Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,
Who made the eyes but I?

Truth Lord, but I have marr’d them: let my shame
Go where it doth deserve.
And know you not, sayes Love, who bore the blame?
My deare, then I will serve.
You must sit down, sayes Love, and taste my meat:
So I did sit and eat.


One Response to ““You must sit down, sayes Love, and taste my meat””

  1. jim walsh Says:

    Ralph Vaughan Williams set this poem to music as one of the Five Mystical Songs. All 5 texts by George Herbert, his fellow Welshman.

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