Sunday, 12 March 2006

Heaven in ordinary: prayer

One of the most profound depictions of prayer that I know of is George Herbert’s poem, “Prayer,” published in 1633:

Prayer the Church’s banquet, Angels’ age,
God’s breath in man returning to his birth,
The soul in paraphrase, heart in pilgrimage,
The Christian plummet sounding heav’n and earth;

Engine against th’ Almighty, sinners’ tower,
Reversed thunder, Christ-side-piercing spear,
The six-days-world transposing in an hour,
A kind of tune, which all things hear and fear;

Softness, and peace, and joy, and love, and bliss,
Exalted Manna, gladness of the best,
Heaven in ordinary, man well dressed,
The milky way, the bird of Paradise,

Church-bells beyond the stars heard, the soul’s blood,
The land of spices; something understood.

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