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George Herbert (1593-1632)

George Herbert was born in Wales and was the younger brother of Edward, created a baron by Charles I. He was educated at Westminster School and at Trinity College, Cambridge where as a brilliant scholar he became Public Orator to the university for several years.

He served as MP for Montgomery in 1624-5 but abandoned public service for the church, becoming a deacon in 1626, being ordained in in 1630 when he obtained the living of Bemerton in Wiltshire. During his time in the church he wrote religious poetry which was published in a collection of poems The Temple, Sacred Poems and Private Ejaculations, shortly after his death in 1633.

His poetry was much influenced by Donne, of whom his mother was a patron, but it is easier to understand and resonates with a purity, devotion, and hymn-like quality. He also wrote a short prose work, A Priest to the Temple, which offers advice to country priests.

Virtue
Easter
Discipline
The Pulley
Love
A Dialogue


Complete English Works (Everyman's Library) Complete English Works (Everyman's Library)
George Herbert, Ann Slater (Introduction)

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