Advent Themes: “Life”, a poem on Death by George Herbert

by Kim on December 3, 2008

In the orgy of December, many people are surprised when I remind them that Advent is a penitential season in which Christians, traditionally, prepare for the second coming of Christ by meditating on the themes of death, judgement, hell and heaven, themes that stretch the imagination to breaking point and, for deep-thought, invite us into the world of poetry. So over the next week I’ll share with you some verse on the Advent themes, as we reflect on the transience, brokenness, and sadness of human life as a way of preparing for the joys of the new beginning of the First Coming, and the new creation of the Second.

I made a posie while the day ran by:
Here will I smell my remnant out, and tie
My life within this band;
But Time did beckon to the flow’rs, and they
By noon most cunningly did steal away,
And wither’d in my hand.

My hand was next to them, and then my heart;
I took, without more thinking, in good part
Time’s gentle admonition;
Who did so sweetly Death’s sad taste convey,
Making my minde to smell my fatall day,
Yet sugring the suspicion.

Farewell, deare flow’rs; sweetly your time ye spent,
Fit while ye lived for smell or ornament,
And after death for cures.
I follow straight, without complaints or grief;
Since if my scent be good, I care not if
It be as short as yours.

George Herbert (1593-1633)

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }


nancy 12.13.08 at 5:27 am

nice bear branch image
interesting poem for advent

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