Peace

Sweet Peace, where dost thou dwell? I humbly crave,
               Let me once know.
          I sought thee in a secret cave,
          And ask’d, if Peace were there.
A hollow wind did seem to answer, No:
               Go seek elsewhere.

I did; and going did a rainbow note:
               Surely, thought I,
          This is the lace of Peace’s coat:
          I will search out the matter.
But while I look’t, the clouds immediately
               Did break and scatter.

Then went I to a garden, and did spy
               A gallant flower,
          The crown Imperial: Sure, said I,
          Peace at the root must dwell.
But when I digg’d, I saw a worm devour
               What show’d so well.

At length I met a rev’rend good old man,
               Whom when for Peace
          I did demand; he thus began:
          There was a Prince of old
At Salem dwelt, who liv’d with good increase
               Of flock and fold.

He sweetly liv’d; yet sweetness did not save
               His life from foes.
     But after death out of his grave
          There sprang twelve stalks of wheat:
Which many wondring at, got some of those
               To plant and set.

It prosper’d strangely, and did soon disperse
               Through all the earth:
     For they that taste it do rehearse
          That virtue lies therein,
A secret virtue bringing peace and mirth
               By flight of sin.

Take of this grain, which in my garden grows,
               And grows for you;
     Make bread of it: and that repose
          And peace which ev’ry where
With so much earnestness you do pursue,
               Is only there.

George Herbert 1633

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