Easter by George Herbert

    Rise heart; thy Lord is risen. Sing his praise
    Without delays,
    Who takes thee by the hand, that thou likewise
    With him mayst rise.
    That, as his death calcined1 thee to dust,
    His life may make thee gold, and much more just.
    Awake, my lute, and struggle for thy part
    With all thy art.
    The cross taught all wood to resound his name,
    Who bore the same.
    His stretched sinews taught all strings, what key
    Is best to celebrate this most high day.
    Consort both heart and lute, and twist a song
    Pleasant and long:
    Or since all music is but three parts vied
    And multiplied;
    O let thy blessed Spirit bear a part,
    And make up our defects with his sweet art.
    I got me flowers to straw thy way:
    I got me boughs off many a tree:
    But thou wast up by break of day,
    And brought’st thy sweets along with thee.
    The Sun arising in the East,
    Though he give light, and th’East perfume;
    If they should offer to contest
    With thy arising, they presume.
    Can there be any day but this,
    Though many suns to shine endeavour?
    We count three hundred, but we miss:
    There is but one, and that one ever.

Hear Malcolm Guite Read Today’s Poem

Today is Easter Sunday!  The day we celebrate is unique in history because it is the only day God the Son was raised from the dead.  For Christians, it is the Lord’s Day and we celebrate not only at Easter but on every Sunday of the year.  It represents the gift of everlasting life which is offered freely by Jesus to everyone in the world.

The Bible says in John 3:16

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

We come now to an end and a beginning.  Our journey through Lent is complete and we stand with Jesus, celebrating life to the glory of God.  Jesus’ death paid for your sins and by grace gives you right standing with God.  His resurrection is the promise of your complete restoration for eternity.

Writing in The Word in the Wilderness, Malcom Guite says:

We have been travelling together in this book through forty eight days together, but if George Herbert is right it has only been one day! From now on there is just the single, eternal day of resurrection and by its light we can look back over our long pilgrimage and see the glory of this day, hidden once, but shining now, in all we have been through.


John 3:16

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.



Dig Deeper: Literature & Liturgy

George Herbert by Malcolm Guite

George Herbert

George Herbert

On February 27th the Church of England keeps the feast and celebrates the memory of George Herbert, the gentle poet priest whose book the Temple, published posthumously in 1633 by his friend Nicholas Ferrar has done so much to help and inspire Christians ever since. In an earlier blog post I gave a talk on George Herbert and the Insights of Prayer.  I offer this sonnet, part of a sequence called ‘Clouds of Witness” in my most recent poetry book The Singing Bowl. The sequence is a celebration of the saints, intended to complement my sequence Sounding the Seasons.

You can get this book in the UK by ordering it from your local bookshop, or via Amazon, and I am vey happy to say that both books are now available in North America from Steve Bell who has a good supply in stock. His page for my books is HERE

Read and hear Malcolm Guite’s A Sonnet for George Herbert HERE

Malcolm Guite

Malcolm Guite

Malcolm Guite is poet-priest and Chaplain of Girton College Cambridge, but he often travels round Great Britain, and to North America, to give lectures, concerts and poetry readings.  For more details of these and other engagements go to his Events Page

Photo courtesy Lancia E. Smith


51vg-xoskvl-_sy346_For every day from Shrove Tuesday to Easter Day, the bestselling poet Malcolm Guite chooses a favourite poem from across the Christian spiritual and English literary traditions and offers incisive seasonal reflections on it.

Lent is a time to reorient ourselves, clarify our minds, slow down, recover from distraction and focus on the values of God’s kingdom. Poetry, with its power to awaken the mind, is an ideal companion for such a time. This collection enables us to turn aside from everyday routine and experience moments of transfigured vision as we journey through the desert landscape of Lent and find refreshment along the way.
Following each poem with a helpful prose reflection, Malcolm Guite has selected from classical and contemporary poets, from Dante, John Donne and George Herbert to Seamus Heaney, Rowan Williams and Gillian Clarke, and his own acclaimed poetry.