Lord, with what care hast Thou begirt us round! Parents first season us; then schoolmasters deliver us to laws; they send us bound to rules of reason, holy messengers, pulpits and Sundays, sorrow dogging sin, afflictions sorted, anguish of all sizes, fine nets and stratagems to catch us in, bibles laid open, millions of surprises, blessings beforehand, ties of gratefulness, the sound of glory ringing in our ears: without, our shame; within, our consciences; angels and grace, eternal hopes and fears. Yet all these fences and their whole array one cunning bosom-sin blows quite away.
George Herbert (April 3, 1593 March 1, 1633) was an English poet and orator. Despite living for only 40 years, his stock as a poet has risen and risen. The poems of his final years, written while as a clergyman at Bemerton near Salisbury, are like nothing else in literature. They combine a profound spirituality with a restless experimentation. Their language remains fresh and inspiring today.