Top 50+George Herbert Quotes


Who is George Herbert

George Herbert was a Welsh-born poet, orator, and priest of the Church of England. His poetry is associated with the writings of the metaphysical poets, and he is recognised as “one of the foremost British devotional lyricists. He was born into an artistic and wealthy family and largely raised in England. He received a good education that led to his admission to Trinity College, Cambridge in 1609. He went there with the intention of becoming a priest, but he became the University’s Public Orator and attracted the attention of King James I. He served in the Parliament of England in 1624 and briefly in 1625.

After the death of King James, Herbert renewed his interest in ordination. He gave up his secular ambitions in his mid-thirties and took holy orders in the Church of England, spending the rest of his life as the rector of the little parish of St Andrew’s Church, Lower Bemerton, Salisbury. He was noted for unfailing care for his parishioners, bringing the sacraments to them when they were ill and providing food and clothing for those in need. Henry Vaughan called him “a most glorious saint and seer.”[4] He was never a healthy man and died of consumption at age 39.

George Herbert Quotes

1. Living well is the best revenge

2. Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right.’ Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along

3. Prayer should be the key of the day and the lock of the night

4. One father is more than a hundred schoolmasters

5. Good words are worth much, and cost little

6. Love and a cough cannot be hid

7. He that is not handsome at 20, nor strong at 30, nor rich at 40, nor wise at 50, will never be handsome, strong, rich or wise

8. He that cannot forgive others, breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass if he would ever reach heaven; for everyone has need to be forgiven

9. The eyes have one language everywhere

10. Life is half spent before we know what it is

11. Storms make the oak grow deeper roots

12. Skill and confidence are an unconquered army

13. One sword keeps another in the sheath

14. A gentle heart is tied with an easy thread

15. Dare to be true. Nothing can need a lie: a fault which needs it most, grows two thereby

16. None knows the weight of another’s burden

17. Be calm in arguing; for fierceness makes error a fault, and truth discourtesy

18. Sweet spring, full of sweet days and roses, a box where sweets compacted lie

19. A lean compromise is better than a fat lawsuit

20. If a donkey bray at you, don’t bray at him

21. In conversation, humor is worth more than wit and easiness more than knowledge

22. Sometimes the best gain is to lose

23. Drink not the third glass, which thou canst not tame, when once it is within thee

24. The buyer needs a hundred eyes, the seller not one

25. He that will learn to pray, let him go to sea

26. War makes thieves and peace hangs them

27. Hell is full of good meanings and wishings

28. Many kiss the hand they wish cut off

29. The shortest answer is doing

30. Read as you taste fruit or savor wine, or enjoy friendship, love or life

31. He that hath lost his credit is dead to the world

32. There is great force hidden in a gentle command

33. He hath no leisure who useth it not

34. The offender never pardons

35. Deceive not thy physician, confessor, nor lawyer

36. The devil divides the world between atheism and superstition

37. Be thrifty, but not covetous

38. Throw away thy rod, throw away thy wrath; O my God, take the gentle path

39. You must lose a fly to catch a trout

40. There would be no great men if there were no little ones

41. Night is the mother of counsels

42. The resolved mind hath no cares

43. Speak not of my debts unless you mean to pay them

44. One father is enough to govern one hundred sons, but not a hundred sons one father

45. There is an hour wherein a man might be happy all his life, could he find it

46. Take all that is given whether wealth, love or language, nothing comes by mistake and with good digestion all can be turned to health

47. Punishment is lame, but it comes

48. It is part of a poor spirit to undervalue himself and blush

49. A man of great memory without learning hath a rock and a spindle and no staff to spin

50. The mouse that hath but one hole is quickly taken

51. Never was a miser a brave soul

52. Spend not on hopes

53. Better never begin than never make an end


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