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