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The Invitation

From Herbert.

Come hither all, whose grovelling3939RS. Original is “groveling.” taste

Inslaves your souls, and lays them waste;

Save your expense, and mend your cheer:

Here God Himself’s prepared and dress’d,

Himself vouchsafes to be your feast,

In whom alone all dainties are.

Come hither all, whom tempting wine

Bows to your father Belial’s shrine,

Sin all your boast, and sense your God:

Weep now for what you’ve drank amiss,

And lose your taste for sensual bliss

By drinking here your Saviour’s blood.

Come hither all, whom searching pain,

Whom conscience’s loud cries arraign,

Producing all your sins to view:

Taste; and dismiss your guilty fear,

O, taste and see that God is here

To heal your souls and sin subdue.

Come hither all, whom careless joy

Does with alluring force destroy,

While loose ye range beyond your bounds:

True joy is here, that passes quite

And all your transient mean delight

Drowns, as a flood the lower grounds.

Come hither all, whose idol-love,

While fond the pleasing pain ye prove,

Raises your foolish raptures high:

True Love is here; whose dying breath

Gave life to us; who tasted death,

And, tasting once, no more can die.

Lord, I have now invited all,

And instant still the guests shall call,

Still shall I all invite to Thee:

For, O my God, it seems but right

In mine, Thy meanest servant’s sight,

That where All is, there all should be!

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