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O my chief good,
How shall I measure out your blood?
How shall I count what you befell,
And each grief tell?
Shall I your woes
Number according to your foes?
Or, since one star showed your first breath,
Shall all your death?
Or shall each leaf,
Which falls in Autumn, score a grief?
Or can not leaves, but fruit, be sign
Of the true vine?
Then let each hour
Of my whole life one grief devour;
That your distress through all may run,
And be my sun.
Or rather let
My several sins their sorrows get;
That as each beast his cure does know,
Each sin may so.
Since blood is fittest, Lord, to write
Your sorrows in, and bloody fight;
My heart has store, write there, where in
One box does lie both ink and sin:
That when sin spies so many foes,
Your whips, your nails, your wounds, your woes,
All come to lodge there, sin may say,
No room1 for me, and fly away.
Sin being gone, oh fill the place,
And keep possession with your grace;
Lest sin take courage and return,
And all the writings blot or burn.
Modern Version of Good Friday
from The Temple (1633), by George Herbert