Herbert's "The Agonie" (1633) is a meditation on "Sinne and Love," the two subjects Herbert feels it would "more behove" philosophers to measure than all the other elements—described in the opening two lines—to which they have set their minds. "Few there are that sound them," Herbert laments, and yet both can be found in the person of Jesus Christ.
In the following two stanzas, Herbert presents two disparate images of Christ, one of which is a representation of Sinne, and the other of Love. In the first, he who "would know Sinne" is invited to repair to Mount Olivet—the Mount of Olives—where he will see "a man . . . wrung with pains." Here, in the garden of Gethsemane, the sin of mankind is like a "press and vice, which forceth pain/to hunt his cruell food through ev'ry vein." Blood appears here, indicative in this instance of the blood shed by Christ in penance for human sin.
The next stanza refers again to Jesus, and to his blood, but this time the blood represents pure love. He who "knows not Love" is invited to "taste that juice, which on the cross a pike did set abroach"—that is, the "juice" of Jesus's blood, which was caused to spurt from his side by a soldier's lance. The blood of Christ on the cross is "sweet and most divine" may be, to Jesus, only blood, but to the believer, it is "wine."