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Short poem

Selected Poetry of George Herbert (1593-1633)

from Representative Poetry On-line
Prepared by members of the Department of English at the University of Toronto
from 1912 to the present and published by the University of Toronto Press from 1912 to 1967.
RPO Edited by Ian Lancashire
A UTEL (University of Toronto English Library) Edition
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries
© 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto

Index to poems

Nothing hath got so far
But man hath caught and kept it as his prey
        (Man, 19-20)
  1. Aaron
  2. The Affliction (I)
  3. The Altar
  4. The British Church
  5. The Collar
  6. Easter Wings
  7. The Elixir
  8. The Hold-fast
  9. Jordan (I)
  10. Love (I)
  11. Love (II)
  12. Love (III)
  13. Man
  14. The Pearl
  15. Prayer (I)
  16. The Pulley
  17. The Quip
  18. Sin (I)
  19. The Temper (I)
  20. Virtue

Notes on Life and Works

Herbert's poems were first published shortly after his death, in The Temple, Sacred Poems and Private Ejaculations by Mr. George Herbert, 1633. Some of them had already circulated in MS. His poems are so full of biblical echoes or quotations, and his images so often liturgical, that only full annotation (rather than mere reference) can properly bring out his indebtedness.

Biographical information

Given name: George
Family name: Herbert
Birth date: 3 April 1593
Death date: March 1633
Nationality: English
Family relations
          father: Richard Herbert
          mother: Magdalen Herbert
          wife: Jane Herbert (from 5 March 1628)
          brother: Edward Herbert
          brother: Henry Herbert
          brother: Thomas Herbert
          Westminster School: 1604 to 1609
          Trinity College, Cambridge (B.A.): 18 December 1609 to 1612
          Trinity College, Cambridge (M.A.) to 1616
Religion: Anglican
Literary period: Seventeenth century
          Prelector: 1618 to 1627
          Deacon: 1626
          Montgomery Castle: 3 April 1593
          Oxford: 1598
          Kent: 1625
          Leighton Bromswold, Huntingdonshire: 1626
          Woodford, Essex: 1628
          Bemerton, Wiltshire: 1630 to March 1633
Illness: Consumption: 1628
First RPO edition: 1997