'Love took my hand'

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by George Herbert

Love (III)

Love bade me welcome. Yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
If I lacked anything.

‘A guest,’ I answered, ‘worthy to be here.’
Love said, ‘You shall be he.’
‘I the unkind, ungrateful? Ah my dear,
I cannot look on thee.’
Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,
‘Who made the eyes but I?’

‘Truth Lord; but I have marred them; let my shame
Go where it doth deserve.’
‘And know you not,’ says Love, ‘who bore the blame?’
‘My dear, then I will serve.’
‘You must sit down,’ says Love, ‘and taste my meat:’
So I did sit and eat.

by George Herbert


Poem as Friend to Jonathan 

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Loveby George Herbert

In this episode you will hear Jonathan talking about the poem that has been a friend to him - 'Love (III)' by George Herbert.

Jonathan visited us at Wise Words Festival in Canterbury. For the first time, we held The Poetry Exchange in a public space, amongst the poetry books at Waterstones, Rose Lane, Canterbury. We are very grateful to both Waterstones and to Wise Words for hosting The Poetry Exchange so warmly.


Jonathan is in conversation with The Poetry Exchange team members Victoria Field and John Prebble.

'Love' is read by John Prebble.


We talk to people about the poem that has been a friend to them.

In exchange we create a gift for them, a bespoke reading of their chosen poem inspired by the conversation. Our award-winning podcast shares these unique and powerful stories of connection with people across the world. 


We set up an intimate environment for these conversations at festivals, in arts, cultural and public spaces across the country. We also hold exchanges ‘long distance’. Our visitors come from all walks of life and we also feature well-known personalities such as Andrew Scott, Maxine Peake, Roy McFarlane and Paterson Joseph.