George Herbert wrote poetry in English, Greek, and Latin. His major work of English-language verse was The Temple: Sacred Poems and Private Ejaculations. This work was published posthumously after Herbert’s death at the age of 39. The work’s main section, “The Church,” meditates on all that takes place in a church: prayer, devotion, doubt, suffering, but most of all, the embrace of faith. As Herbert was a priest himself, this volume can be seen to contain Herbert’s own religious experience in all its forms. The volume is still valued today for its formal innovation and complex rendering of Christian faith.
For an overview of Herbert's poetry, see the extended Summary and Analysis section of this guide. For in-depth analyses of some of Herbert's most important poems, see individual guides on: