Study Guide

The Altar Poem Text

By George Herbert

The Altar: Text of the Poem

A broken ALTAR, Lord, thy servant rears,
 Made of a heart and cemented with tears;
   Whose parts are as thy hand did frame;
 No workman's 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.
 Oh, let thy blessed SACRIFICE be mine,
   And sanctify this ALTAR to be thine.