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1640-89. London: Methuen, 1989. Survey of British Poetry: Cavalier to Restoration. Vol. 2. Edited by the Editorial Board, Roth Publishing. Great Neck, N.Y.: Poetry Anthology Press, 1989. Ward, Thomas Humphry. The English Poets: Selections with Critical Introductions by Various Writers and a General Introduction by Matthew Arnold. Vol. 2. New York: Mac-millan, 1912.
"DISCIPLINE" George Herbert (1633) In
"Discipline," George Herbert pleas with God gently to correct man's errant acts, rather than use violence. He appeals to God's mercy, utilizing a New Testament vision of God, rather than the Old Testament image of a punisher filled with wrath. As in many of Herbert's poems form becomes important in shaping the eight four-line stanzas. Lines 1, 2, and 4 depend on iambic trimeter for rhythm, while line 3 contains only two feet with a trochaic rhythm. Herbert employs repetition of words and phrases for emphasis and effect. The first stanza makes a direct request:
Throw away thy rod, Throw away thy wrath:
In making the request, the speaker could be seen as impudently attempting to instruct God. However, the acknowledgment "O my God" acts at once as recognition of God's power and as praise of that power. Herbert suggests that he well understands God's enormous capacity for punishment, indicated by the strongly descriptive term wrath. He also understands that God's power to control his wrath remains admirable. Unlike man, he can exert self-control when needed. The second
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