Professor Palmer Speaks on George Herbert.
George Herbert, he said, on account of his ardent piety was early destined to service in the church. For this purpose he was sent to Westminister School at London, and from there to Trinity College in Cambridge. Ordinarily he would have immediately prepared for the priesthood, but his desire for honor still kept him at Cambridge, where he obtained the oratorship. At the death of King James, however, all his hopes of securing a position at court vanished, and the resulting disappointment was one of the main causes of his taking orders from the church. Through the Earl of Pembroke, he obtained a small recforship, and in this period of consecration he was engaged only the last three years of his life, during which he wrote the poems which have made him so well-known.
As a poet, George Herbert has no great force of continuance, but his writings are sincere, passionate, and intellectually interesting. In these three qualities, Cardinal Newman, Christina Rosetti, and Rudyard Kipling in his religious verse, come nearest to him. They all have the same sort of devotion, although to a less degree.
The next union meeting will be held January 19.