Windows (Herbert)

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For works with similar titles, see Windows.
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.

This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.