THE RELIC - George Herbert Poems


Poems » george herbert » the relic


     When my grave is broke up again
     Some second guest to entertain,
     (For graves have learn'd that woman head,
     To be to more than one a bed)
           And he that digs it, spies
A bracelet of bright hair about the bone,
           Will he not let'us alone,
And think that there a loving couple lies,
Who thought that this device might be some way
To make their souls, at the last busy day,
Meet at this grave, and make a little stay?

      If this fall in a time, or land,
      Where mis-devotion doth command,
      Then he, that digs us up, will bring
      Us to the bishop, and the king,
           To make us relics; then
Thou shalt be a Mary Magdalen, and I
           A something else thereby;
All women shall adore us, and some men;
And since at such time miracles are sought,
I would have that age by this paper taught
What miracles we harmless lovers wrought.

      First, we lov'd well and faithfully,
      Yet knew not what we lov'd, nor why;
      Difference of sex no more we knew
      Than our guardian angels do;
           Coming and going, we
Perchance might kiss, but not between those meals;
           Our hands ne'er touch'd the seals
Which nature, injur'd by late law, sets free;
These miracles we did, but now alas,
All measure, and all language, I should pass,
Should I tell what a miracle she was.