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Love (III) by George Herbert
Transcript of Love (III) by George Herbert
Interpretation, Theme, Mood & Tone, and Language
Imagery, Symbolism, and Impression
Born: April 3, 1593, Montgomery, United Kingdom
Died: March 1, 1633, Bemerton, United Kingdom
Went to college to be a priest
English poet, orator and Anglican priest
Some of his noble works : Easter Wings, The Altar and Love.
A conversation between Love and the Guest
He felt like he was not worthy enough to be in Love's presence
Love argued back gently, and persuaded him to enter the feast.
Love bade me welcome; yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
If I lacked anything.
"A guest," I answered "worthy to be here";
Love said "You shall be he."
"I, the unkind, ungrateful? Ah, my dear,
I cannot look on Thee."
Love took my hand, and smiling did reply
"Who made the eyes but I?"
"Truth, Lord; but I have marred them: let my shame
Go where it doth deserve."
"And know you not," says Love "who bore the blame?"
"My dear, then I will serve."
"You must sit down," says Love "and taste my meat."
So I did sit and eat.
The guest is reluctant to answer Love's invitation because of his sin, but Love draws near him and questions if he needs anything.
The two debate whether he is "worthy" to be in Love's presence. Love replied the He could not look onto his unkindness and ungratefullness.
The guest is ashamed that he has "marred" his eyes. Love insists that he "bore the blame," and therefore, he must sit down "and taste" His "meat".
Shows how he is troubled in spirit because he feels sinful:
‘my soul drew back, guilty of dust and sin’.
Changes from fear of God’s punishment to acceptance of God’s forgiveness:
‘my soul drew back… So I did sit and eat.’
Mood and Tone
guilty, romantic, ashamed
The tone changes from fear to acceptance of God’s forgiveness.
Mild and gentle:
‘I, the unkind, the ungrateful? ah my dear’.
‘I cannot look on thee’.
Simple and complex at the same time.
Reads like a dialogue or conversation.
Overall image is a feast where a host and a shy guest chat at the door of a house.
The talk between the guest and host is an image of the spiritual relationship between the poet and God.
The poem talks about a relationship with God.
Most of Herbert’s poems are about a large amount of tension and worry beneath his faith with his religion.
Poems contain arguments about religion.
The bible influenced how and what Herbert wrote.
By: George Herbert
Rhyme pattern: ABABCC
Three stanzas with six line each.
At the door conversing with the guest.
Telling Love that he is unworthy to join him.
House with a host serving dinner
The complex relationship between a repentant sinner and a forgiving God:
‘I cannot look on thee. Love took my hand and smiling did reply, Who made the eyes but I?’
The sweet and forgiving nature of God:
‘And know you not," says Love, "who bore the blame?’
‘let my shame go where it doth deserve’.
‘My dear, then I will serve’.
Firm and forceful:
‘Love said, You shall be he’.
‘So I did sit and eat’.
‘Love bade me welcome, yet my soul drew back’.
‘bore the blame’.
This alliteration emphasizes the way God suffered to save Herbert and others.
Has a regular beat with the set rhyme and the answer and reply pattern.
The simple conversational words give a light air to the dignified ritual of the question and answer pattern.
Love is God.
It helps people relate to the known.