What nature made a ship, he makes a shelf

From The Church Porch in George Herbert’s The Temple

When thou dost purpose ought, (within thy power)
Be sure to doe it, though it be but small:
Constancie knits the bones, and makes us stowre,
When wanton pleasures becken us to thrall.
Who breaks his own bond, forfeiteth himself:
What nature made a ship, he makes a shelf.

stowre – Hutchinson glosses this as ‘stalwart, unbending’ noting it as a dialectal adjective (stour in OED) already grown so obscure by the 1674 printing that it began to be emended.

shelf – in the secondary sense, defined by the OED as ‘A sandbank in the sea or river rendering the water shallow and dangerous. Also loosely applied to a submerged ledge of rock.’

Making my minde to smell my fatall day / Yet sugring the suspicion

Life by George Herbert:

I made a posie, while the day ran by:

Here will I smell my remnant out, and tie

My life within this band.

But time did becken to the flowers, and they

By noon most cunningly did steal away

And wither’d in my hand.

My hand was next to them, and then my heart:

I took, without more thinking, in good part

Times gentle admonition:

Who did so sweetly deaths sad taste convey

Making my minde to smell my fatall day;

Yet sugring the suspicion.

Farewell deare flowers, sweetly your time ye spent,

Fit, while ye liv’d, for smell or ornament,

And after death for cures.

I follow straight without complaints or grief,

Since if my sent be good, I care not, if

It be as short as yours

I struck the board, and cried, “No more;  I will abroad!” 

The Collar by George Herbert.  The opening lines appear as an epigraph to Patrick Leigh Fermor’s A Time For Gifts – alongside the Petronius poem (He that disembarks on distant sands, becomes thereby the greater man.) I included a few days back.  I owe introduction to Herbert to Fermor.

I struck the board, and cried, “No more;
I will abroad!
What? shall I ever sigh and pine?
My lines and life are free, free as the road,
Loose as the wind, as large as store.
Shall I be still in suit?
Have I no harvest but a thorn
To let me blood, and not restore
What I have lost with cordial fruit?
Sure there was wine
Before my sighs did dry it; there was corn
Before my tears did drown it.
Is the year only lost to me?
Have I no bays to crown it,
No flowers, no garlands gay? All blasted?
All wasted?
Not so, my heart; but there is fruit,
And thou hast hands.
Recover all thy sigh-blown age
On double pleasures: leave thy cold dispute
Of what is fit and not. Forsake thy cage,
Thy rope of sands,
Which petty thoughts have made, and made to thee
Good cable, to enforce and draw,
And be thy law,
While thou didst wink and wouldst not see.
Away! take heed;
I will abroad.
Call in thy death’s-head there; tie up thy fears;
He that forbears
To suit and serve his need
Deserves his load.”
But as I raved and grew more fierce and wild
At every word,
Methought I heard one calling, Child!
And I replied My Lord.