Another Hymn for the Hermit

King of glory, King of peace,
I will love thee;
and that love may never cease,
I will move thee.
Thou hast granted my request,
thou hast heard me;
thou didst note my working breast,
thou hast spared me.

Wherefore with my utmost art
I will sing thee,
and the cream of all my heart
I will bring thee.
Though my sins against me cried,
thou didst clear me;
and alone, when they replied,
thou didst hear me.

Seven whole days, not one in seven,
I will praise thee;
in my heart, though not in heaven,
I can raise thee.
Small it is, in this poor sort
to enroll thee:
e’en eternity’s too short
to extol thee.

Words: George Herbert, 1633
Sung by the choir of the Washington National (Episcopal) Cathedral:

george herbert
George Herbert (3 April 1593 – 1 March 1633) was a Welsh-born English poet, orator and Anglican priest. In 1633 all of Herbert’s poems were published in “The Temple: Sacred poems and private ejaculations”, edited by Nicholas Ferrar. The book went through eight editions by 1690.
Nicholas_Ferrar
Nicholas Ferrar (22 February 1592 – 4 December 1637) was an English scholar, courtier, businessman and man of religion. Ordained deacon in the Church of England, he retreated with his extended family to the manor of Little Gidding in Huntingdonshire, where he lived the rest of his life. In 1626 Nicholas Ferrar and his extended family left London and moved to the deserted village of Little Gidding in Huntingdonshire. The household was centred on the Ferrar family: Nicholas’s mother, his brother John Ferrar (with his wife Bathsheba and their children), and his sister Susanna (and her husband John Collett and their children). They bought the manor of Little Gidding and restored the abandoned little church for their use. The household always had someone at prayer and had a strict routine. They tended to the health and education of local children, and Nicholas and his family produced harmonies of the gospels that survive today as some of the finest in Britain. Many of the family also learned the art of bookbinding, apparently from the daughter of a Cambridge bookbinder, which style they worked in. Nicholas Ferrar died on 4 December 1637, but the family continued their way of life without him, and the religious life only ended in 1657 on the deaths, within a month, of John Ferrar and Susanna Collett.
little gidding
T.S. Eliot (1888-1965) used Little Gidding as the title and theme of the fourth and final poem of his “Four Quartets”, a series of poems that discuss time, perspective, humanity, and salvation. It includes the immortal (and truly eremitical) words:

With the drawing of this Love and the voice of this Calling
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

http://allspirit.co.uk/gidding.html

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