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Grief

George Herbert (1593–1633)

O Who will give me tears? Come, all ye springs,
    Dwell in my head and eyes; come, clouds
          and rain;
My grief hath need of all the watery things
That nature hath produced: let every vein
Suck up a river to supply mine eyes,
My weary weeping eyes, too dry for me,
Unless they get new conduits, new supplies,
To bear them out, and with my state agree.
What are two shallow fords, two little spouts
Of a less world? the greater is but small,
A narrow cupboard for my griefs and doubts,
Which want provision in the midst of all.
Verses, ye are too fine a thing, too wise
For my rough sorrows; cease, be dumb and mute,
Give up your feet and running to mine eyes,
And keep your measures for some lover’s lute,
Whose grief allows him music and a rhyme;
For mine excludes both measure, tune, and time:
                    Alas, my God!

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