Easter Monday, and a suitable voice to celebrate it is that of George Herbert, the seventeenth-century Metaphysical poet, whose individualistic religious writing is imbued with sincerity and an intimacy of spirit.

Easter Wings is a kind of early “concrete” poem, mimicking the larks’ wings. It should be viewed sideways for full effect.

                    EASTER WINGS

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Lord, who createdst man in wealth and store,

     Though foolishly he lost the same,

           Decaying more and more

                 Till he became

                     Most poor:

                      With thee

                   O let me rise

            As larks, harmoniously,

       And sing this day thy victories:

Then shall the fall further the flight in me.


     My tender age in sorrow did begin;

      And still with sicknesses and shame

           Though dids’t so punish sin,

                    That I became

                         Most thin.

                         With thee

                   Let me combine,

         And feel this day thy victory;

        For, if I imp my wing on thine,

Affliction shall advance the flight in me.


                         from PRAYER (I)

Softness, and peace, and joy, and love, and bliss,

Exalted manna, gladness of the best

Heaven in ordinary, man well dressed,

The Milky Way, the bird of Paradise,

Church bells beyond the stars heard, the soul’s blood,

The land of spices; something understood.