Throwback Thursday: There Is But One

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George Herbert’s “Easter” is glorious poetry, but even more so it is a powerful invitation to sing our Easter joy.

Rise heart; thy Lord is risen.  Sing his praise                                                  
Without delayes,
Who takes thee by the hand, that thou likewise                                                  
With him mayst rise:
That, as his death calcined thee to dust,
His life may make thee gold, and much more, just.  
Awake, my lute, and struggle for thy part                                                  
With all thy art.
The crosse taught all wood to resound his name,                                                  
Who bore the same. His stretched sinews taught all strings, what key
Is best to celebrate this most high day.  

Consort both heart and lute, and twist a song                                                  
Pleasant and long:
Or, since all musick is but three parts vied                                                  
And multiplied,
O let thy blessed Spirit bear a part,
And make up our defects with his sweet art.

I got me flowers to straw thy way;
I got me boughs off many a tree:
But thou wast up by break of day,
And brought’st thy sweets along with thee.  

The Sunne arising in the East,
Though he give light, & th’ East perfume;
If they should offer to contest
With thy arising, they presume.  

Can there be any day but this,
Though many sunnes to shine endeavour?
We count three hundred, but we misse:
There is but one, and that one ever.

—“Easter” in The Temple (1633) by George Herbert (1593-1633)

— Scott Gunn

Photo: Church of the Holy Apostles, Capernaum, by Scott Gunn

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