George Herbert: Peace

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 winde did seem to answer, No : 
                        Go seek elsewhere. 

I did ;  and going did a rainbow note : 
                        Surely, thought I, 
        This is the lace of Peaces 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 Imperiall :  Sure, said I, 
                Peace at the root must dwell. 
But when I digg’d, I saw a worm devoure 
                        What show’d so well. 

At length I met a rev’rend good old man : 
                        Whom when of 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 sweetnesse 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 vertue lies therein ; 
A secret vertue bringing peace and mirth 
                        By flight of sinne. 

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 earnestnesse you do pursue 
                        Is onely there. 


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