POETRY: The Invitation by George Herbert

The Invitation by George Herbert

Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come buy wine and milk without money and without price.  Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labor for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. (Isaiah 55:1-2)

Come ye hither all, whose taste
Is our waste;
Save your cost, and mend your fare.
God is here prepared and dressed,
And the feast,
God, in whom all dainties are.

Come ye hither all, whom wine
Doth define,
Naming you not to your good:
Weep what ye have drunk amiss,
And drink this,
Which before ye drink is blood.

Come ye hither all, whom pain
Doth arraign,
Bringing all your sins to sight:
Taste and fear not: God is here
In this cheer,
And on sin doth cast the fright.

Come ye hither all, whom joy
Doth destroy,
While ye graze without your bounds:
Here is joy that drowneth quite
Your delight,
As a flood the lower grounds.

Come ye hither all, whose love
Is your dove,
And exalts you to the sky:
Here is love, which having breath
Ev’n in death,
After death can never die.

Lord I have invited all,
And I shall
Still invite, still call to thee:
For it seems but just and right
In my sight,
Where is all, there all should be.

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