1] The title, derived from alchemy, means "the substance which can change base metals to precious", or more particularly in the poem, "the belief which can dignify all experience." It is indicated in the first stanza.
8] his: its.
24] told: reckoned.
Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department
of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.
Original text: George Herbert, The temple. Sacred poems and private ejaculations, edited by N. Ferrar (Cambridge: T. Buck and R. Daniel, 1633). STC 13183. Facs. edn. Menston: Scolar Press, 1968. PR 3507 T45 1633A. Also The Bodleian Manuscript of George Herbert's Poems: A Facsimile of Tanner 307, Introduced by Amy M. Charles and Mario A. Di Cesare. Delmar: Scholars' Facsimiles and Reprints, 1984. PR 3507 T45 1984 Robarts Library.
First publication date: 1633
RPO poem editor: N. J. Endicott
RP edition: 2RP.1.321; RPO 1996-2000.
Recent editing: 2:2002/2/13
Other poems by George Herbert