George Herbert wrote, but never published, some of the very greatest English poetry, recording in an astonishing variety of forms his inner experiences of grief, recovery, hope, despair, anger, fulfilment and - above all else - love. This volume, edited by John Drury, collects Herbert's complete poetry - including such classics of English devotional poetry as 'The Altar', Easter-Wings' and 'Love'. It also includes the verse Herbert wrote in Latin, newly translated into English by Victoria Moul.
George Herbert was born in 1593 and died at the age of 39 in 1633, before the clouds of civil war gathered. He showed worldly ambition and seemed sure of high public office and a career at court, but then for a time 'lost himself in a humble way', devoting himself to the restoration of a church and then to his parish of Bemerton, three miles from Salisbury. When in the year of his death his friend Nicholas Ferrar published Herbert's poems under the title The Temple, his fame was quickly established.
John Drury is Chaplain and Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. His books include The Burning Bush (1990), Painting the Word (1999), and, most recently, Music at Midnight, the culmination of a lifetime's interest in Herbert.
Victoria Moul is Lecturer in Latin Literature and Language at Kings College London. She is author of Jonson, Horace and the Classical Tradition (2010) and editor of Neo-Latin Literature (2014).
In one series, the original writings of the universally acknowledged teachers of the Catholic, Protestant, Eastern Orthodox, Jewish, Islamic and Native American traditions have been critically selected, translated and introduced by internationally recognized scholars and spiritual leaders.
The texts are first-rate, and the introductions are informative and reliable. The books will be a welcome addition to the bookshelf of every literate religious persons". -- The Christian Century
On his deathbed George Herbert entrusted the manuscript of The Temple to his friend Nicholas Ferrar, asking him to publish it if he thought it was worthy. Herbert died in 1633 and the collection was published the same year to much acclaim. The Temple is an astounding collection of English verse poems with a central religious theme. The volume is a meditation on man's relationship to God and is characterised by Herbert's clarity and directness of style. This collection includes 'The Collar', a lyrical poem on submission to Divine Will and 'The Pearl', a manifestation of man's love for God.