What is the theme of "The Forerunners," a poem by George Herbert?
George Herbert (1593-1633), one of the metaphysical poets, wrote quiet and precise devotional verse. "The Forerunners" is no exception. In it the poet ruminates on the coming of old age (hence the title) -
His reflections are shot through with ambivalence: He regrets that advancing age brings with it enfeeblement, the gradual loss of his ability to write poetry. Yet, at the same time, he expresses gratitude that his versifying faculty can still express the motto, "Thou art still my God". He summarizes this sentiment in the second stanza of the poem: