Lord, who createdst man in wealth and store,
Though foolishly he lost the same,
Decaying more and more,
Till he became
Oh let me rise
As larks, harmoniously,
And sing this day thy victories:
Then shall the fall further the flight in me.
My tender age in sorrow did beginne:
And still with sicknesses and shame
Thou didst so punish sinne,
That I became
Let me combine
And feel this day thy victorie:
For, if I imp my wing on thine
Affliction shall advance the flight in me.
-- George Herbert (1593-1633)
This is a shape poem, which means that if you turn it on its side, you will see a pair of wings. George Herbert was a priest and poet. He used the shape poem to reflect the subject of his poem. Recalling man's lapsarian (fallen) state, Herbert's poem focuses not on the fallen man, but on the redeemed man, made possible through Christ's "victorie."
This is one of my favorite Easter poems because of the simplicity of the story -- man fell, God lifted us. Herbert reminds us that by joined our will with God's we, too, shall "advance in flight" and be raised from our natural state to His heavenly one.