Online Poems

for Craig White's Literature Courses

George Herbert, "The Altar," from The Temple (1633)


The Altar.

A  broken   A L T A R,  Lord,  thy  servant  rears,
Made  of  a  heart,  and  cemented  with   tears:
Whose  parts  are as  thy  hand did frame;
No workman's tool hath touch’d the same.
A    H E A R T     alone
Is    such    a     stone,
As      nothing      but
Thy  pow’r doth  cut.
Wherefore each part
Of   my   hard   heart
Meets  in  this  frame,
To  praise thy  Name;
That,   if   I   chance   to   hold   my   peace,
These stones to praise thee may not cease.
O  let  thy   blessed   S A C  R  I  F  I C E   be  mine,
And    sanctify   this   A L  T  A  R   to   be   thine.