George Herbert Returns

The Agonie

Philosophers have measured mountains,
Fathomed the depths of seas, of states and kings,
Walked with a staff to heav'n and traced fountains:
But there are two vast spacious things,
The which to measure it doth more behove:
Yet few there are that sound them; Sinne and Love.

Who would know Sinne, let him repair
Unto Mount Olivet; there shall he see
A man so wrung with pains, that all his hair,
His skinne, his garments bloudie be.
Sinne is that presse and vice, which forceth pain
To hunt his cruell food through ev'ry vein.

Who knows not Love, let him assay
And taste that juice which on the crosse a pike
Did set again abroach; then let him say
If ever he did taste the like.
Love is that liquor sweet and most divine,
Which my God feels as bloud; but I, as wine.

Update: Thanks to reader Rueful Red for leaving the link to this piece on Herbert in comments.
The dramatic intimacy of the poems, and their finely wrought forms, convey a vivid series of life experiences. Outside the Book of Psalms, is there any such collection of lyrics recounting this very peculiar phenomenon, the ups and downs of a human love affair with God?