Poems for Easter



Easter Song by George Herbert

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 brought’st Thy sweets along with Thee.

The sunne arising in the East,
Though he give light, and th’ 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.

Easter wings by George Herbert

Easter Wings

Easter Sunday

Prayer by George Herbert

Prayer the church's banquet, angel's 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, sinner's tow'r,
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 drest,
The milky way, the bird of Paradise,
Church-bells beyond the stars heard, the soul's blood,
The land of spices; something understood.

 All these poems have featured in previous Easter blog entries. 

George Herbert lived from 1593 to 1633. His poems in English were published together in 1633. The second poem is meant to represent the shape of wings. 

Happy Easter to all blog readers


  1. Thank you for this; I love George Herbert.
    A very happy and blessed Easter to you, too.

    1. Oh I'm so glad - thank you. I love the third poem, the Prayer, so much.
      And a very happy and blessed Easter to you...

  2. Have a lovely Easter, Moira. You've chosen the perfect accompaniment to the holiday, I think.

    1. Thanks Margot - I hope you and your family had a good holiday weekend.

  3. Fine poems - Herbert can move even an atheist!

    For rather different attitudes, see "Easter Day. Naples, 1849" by A. H. Clough and A. E. Housman's "Easter Hymn".

    1. Thanks - I didn't know either of those poems, and they are both thought-provoking, to say the least. I particularly liked the Housman because he fitted so much into a sonnet. Do people still write poems about their uncertainties... ?

    2. It's probably religious certainties people feel the need to justify now.

  4. A favorite - "The Donkey" by GK Chesterton.

    When fishes flew and forests walked
    And figs grew upon thorn,
    Some moment when the moon was blood
    Then, surely, I was born.

    With monstrous head and sickening cry
    And ears like errant wings,
    The devil’s walking parody
    On all four-footed things.

    The tattered outlaw of the earth
    Of ancient crooked will;
    Starve, scourge, deride me; I am dumb,
    I keep my secret still.

    Fools! For I also had my hour;
    One far fierce hour and sweet;
    There was a shout about my ears
    And palms before my feet.

    1. Oh yes Shay, great poem, gives me the shivers. This is so nice, people sharing their choices.

  5. Thank so much, Moira, for reminding me of this wonderful poet. This poem by him, 'Virtue', is also a favourite:

    Sweet day, so cool, so calm, so bright,
    The bridal of the earth and sky;
    The dew shall weep thy fall to-night,
    For thou must die.

    Sweet rose, whose hue angry and brave
    Bids the rash gazer wipe his eye;
    Thy root is ever in its grave,
    And thou must die.

    Sweet spring, full of sweet days and roses,
    A box where sweets compacted lie;
    My music shows ye have your closes,
    And all must die.

    Only a sweet and virtuous soul,
    Like season'd timber, never gives;
    But though the whole world turn to coal,
    Then chiefly lives.

    1. That's lovely, and was new to me. I always say about George Herbert that I like his poems very much, while assuming he must have been an unfathomable man. I have to work at them but in a most satisfying and rewarding way. Oh to have such faith...

  6. Replies
    1. Happy Easter to you and yours - hope you had lots of chocolate eggs.

  7. I am not that familiar with George Herbert, but I particularly like Easter Wings and Prayer.

    1. I love his poems even when I'm not sure I totally understand them...


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