A broken ALTAR, Lord thy servant rears,
Made of a heart, and cemented with tears:
Whose parts are as thy hand did frame;
No workmans tool hath touch’d the same
A HEART alone
Is such a stone,
As nothing but
Thy pow’r doth cut.
Wherefore each part
Of my hard heart
Meets in this frame,
To praise thy Name:
That if I chance to hold my peace,
These stones to praise thee may not cease.
O let thy blessed SACRIFICE be mine,
And sanctify this ALTAR to be thine.
The Altar, by George Herbert (1633, from Herbert’s poetry collection, “The Temple)

George Herbert (1593 – 1633), born in Wales, and a well-known English poet, served for many years as a priest in the Church of England. Educated at Cambridge University, he excelled in languages and music. He served for a few years in parliament before entering ministry. In 1630, while in his late thirties, he stepped into full-time life as a priest in a small parish near Salisbury, England. He is best known for his collections of sacred poetry.