The Hidden Prayer

Weil dearly loved this poem by George Herbert (1593-1633), and it was instrumental in her approach to christianity:

Je vous mets ci-joint le poème anglais que je vous avais récité, Love; il joué un grand rôle dans ma vie, car j'étais occupée à me le réciter à moi-même, à ce moment où, pour la première fois, le Christ est venu me prendre. Je croyais ne faire que redire un beau poème, et à mon insu c'était une prière. (799) I hereby include the English poem that I recited to you, Love; it played a big role in my life, for I was busy reciting it to myself at the moment when, for the first time, Christ came to take me. I believed I was merely resaying a beautiful poem, and unbeknownst to myself, it was a prayer.
Love by George Herbert

Love bade me welcome; yet my soul drew back,

Guiltie of dust and sin.

But quick-ey'd Love, observing me grow slack

From my first entrance in,

Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning

If I lack'd anything.

A guest, I answer'd, worthy to be here.

Love said, You shall be he.

I, the unkinde, ungrateful? Ah, my deare,

I cannot look on thee.

Love took my hand and smiling did reply:

Who made the eyes but I?

Truth, Lord; but I have marr'd them; let my shame

Go where it doth deserve.

And know you not, says Love; who bore the blame?

My deare, then I will serve.

You must sit down, says Love, and taste my meat.

So I did sit and eat.

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