George Herbert

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Jordan

    Who says that fictions only and false hair
    Become a verse? Is there in truth no beauty?
    Is all good structure in a winding stair?
    May no lines pass, except they do their duty
5       Not to a true, but painted chair?
   
   
   
    Is it no verse, except enchanted groves
    And sudden arbours shadow coarse-spun lines?
    Must purling streams refresh a lover’s loves?
    Must all be veiled, while he that reads, divines,
10       Catching the sense at two removes?
   
   
   
    Shepherds are honest people; let them sing;
    Riddle who list, for me, and pull for prime;
    I envy no man’s nightingale or spring;
    Nor let them punish me with loss of rhyme,
15       Who plainly say, My God, My King.
   
   

Contributed by Robert Clark.