"The Windows"

By George Herbert

Lord, how can man preach thy eternal word?

    He is a brittle crazy glass;

Yet in thy temple thou dost him afford

    This glorious and transcendent place,

    To be a window, through thy grace.

But when thou dost anneal in glass thy story,

    Making thy life to shine within

The holy preachers, then the light and glory

    More reverend grows, and more doth win;

    Which else shows waterish, bleak, and thin.

Doctrine and life, colors and light, in one

    When they combine and mingle, bring

A strong regard and awe; but speech alone

    Doth vanish like a flaring thing,

    And in the ear, not conscience, ring.

Adam Thompson