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Quotes

Quote #4

Thou didst so punish sin,
That I became
Most thin (13-15)

According to the poem, God's job is to punish sin, whether it's long-gone Adam's or the just-born speaker's. His thinness here is metaphysical as well as physical, a thinness of the soul. Where is God's love when there's sin around? Nowhere, that's where.

Quote #5

Affliction shall advance the flight in me (20)

Adam's sin means that everyone after him starts out with a stacked deck. The speaker's additional sins have only increased the odds, but since he's willing to repent, the speaker actually sees this as a good thing. It's all about the mindset, folks. Remember when your teacher used to correct you for saying "have to": "No, you get to complete this math assignment"? Herbert does something similar here. The speaker's sin means that he gets to use Christ's resurrection for repentance, not that he has to.

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