Unkindnesse


Lord, make me coy and tender to offend:
In friendship, first I think, if that agree,
                              Which I intend,
            Unto my friends intent and end.
I would not use a friend, as I use Thee.

If any touch my friend, or his good name;
It is my honour and my love to free
                              His blasted fame
            From the least spot or thought of blame.
I could not use a friend, as I use Thee.

My friend may spit upon my curious floore:
Would he have gold? I lend it instantly;
                             But let the poore,
            And thou within them starve at doore.
I cannot use a friend, as I use Thee.

When that my friend pretendeth to a place,
I quit my interest, and leave it free:
                              But when thy grace
            Sues for my heart, I thee displace,
Nor would I use a friend, as I use Thee.

Yet can a friend what thou hast done fulfill?
O write in brasse, My God upon a tree
                              His blood did spill
            Onely to purchase my good-will:
Yet use I not my foes, as I use thee.


George Herbert.