Because life is a series of edits

Aaron by George Herbert

In Thought on August 17, 2006 at 8:45 am

Learner shared with me this beautiful poem by George Herbert, about a pastor’s wrestling with his inadequacies and the call to the pastorate. The professor read it aloud – the only way to read poetry, Learner says – and apparently it was quite touching to the class.

Aaron
Holinesse on the head,
Light and perfections on the breast,
Harmonious bells below, raising the dead
To leade them unto life and rest.
Thus are true Aarons drest.

Profanenesse in my head,
Defects and darknesse in my breast,
A noise of passions ringing me for dead
Unto a place there is no rest.
Poore priest thus am I drest.

Onely another head
I have, another heart and breast,
Another musick, making live not dead,
Without whom I could have no rest:
In him I am well drest.

Christ is my onely head,
My alone onely heart and breast,
My onely musick, striking me ev’n dead;
That to the old man I may rest,
And be in him new drest.

So holy in my head,
Perfect and light in my deare breast,
My doctrine tun’d by Christ, (who is not dead,
But lives in me while I do rest)
Come people; Aaron’s drest.

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