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""It is difficult to conjecture how much George Herbert's return to the spiritual life was due to the sudden failure of royal patronage, and how much to his own devotion; but it is vain to pretend that it was at first an easy or a palatable change of front for him. 'In this time of retirement' [in London and Kent], says Walton, 'he had many conflicts with himself, whether he should return to the painted pleasures of a court life, or betake himself to a study of divinity, and enter into sacred orders, to which his mother had often persuaded him. These were such conflicts as they only can know that have endured them; for ambitious desires, and the outward glory of this world, are not easily laid aside; but at last God inclined him to put on a resolution to serve at His altar.'"" --From the Introduction by Arthur Waugh George Herbert (1593-1633) was a Welsh-born poet, orator and Anglican priest. Herbert's poetry is associated with the writings of the metaphysical poets. He attended Trinity College in Cambridge, became the University's Public Orator, and attracted the attention of King James I. From 1624-1625, he served in the Parliament of England. After King James died, Herbert's interest in ordination was renewed. In his mid-thirties he took holy orders in the Church of England, and spent the rest of his life as the rector of St. Andrews Church in Lower Bemerton, Salisbury.