George Herbert

The Collar

    I struck the board, and cried, "No more!
        I will abroad.
    What! shall I ever sigh and pine?
    My lines and life are free; free as the road,
        Loose as the wind, as large as store.
            Shall I be still in suit?
        Have I no harvest but a thorn
        To let me blood, and not restore
    What I have lost with cordial fruit?
              Sure there was wine
      Before my sighs did dry it; there was corn
          Before my tears did drown it.
      Is the year only lost to me?
          Have I no bays to crown it?
  No flowers, no garlands gay? all blasted?
              All wasted?
      Not so, my heart; but there is fruit,
              And thou hast hands.
          Recover all thy sigh-blown age
  On double pleasures; leave thy cold dispute
  Of what is fit and not; forsake thy cage,
              Thy rope of sands,
  Which petty thoughts have made, and made to thee
      Good cable, to enforce and draw,
              And be thy law,
      While thou didst wink and wouldst not see.
              Away! take heed;
              I will abroad.
  Call in thy death's-head there; tie up thy fears;
              He that forbears
          To suit and serve his need
              Deserves his load."
  But as I rav'd, and grew more fierce and wild
              At every word,
      Me thoughts I heard one calling, "Child";
              And I replied, "My Lord."

  • Here is the same poem in its original spelling .