Over the centuries, there has been a great deal of Christian poetry written by a broad range of poets, but only a tiny handful of that can stand comparison with the very best nonreligious poetry. The later poetry of John Donne, Milton, Dante, some of the early American Puritan poets, and the poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins does not quite exhaust the list, but it consumes most of it. And, of course, George Herbert stands at the head of any such list. Of all these poets, Herbert is probably my favorite as a religious poet. By that, I mean someone who is religiously satisfying while at the same time writing exquisite poetry. There is simplicity of expression in Herbert that is missing in Donne, and a personal piety that I do not find in Milton, whose poetry, while unquestionably religious in spirit, is somewhat spiritually dry. One wouldn't read Milton to inspire piety. Hopkins is brilliant, but I find myself focusing on his over alliteration.
George Herbert was one of those either fortunate or unfortunate younger sons of a landed family who was forced to enter the Church because the family title passed onto his older brother. That brother, very nearly as well known as his younger brother for his own writings, Lord Herbert of Cherbury, was the author of several books, including what could be regarded as the first history of comparative religion written in England. The religions compared were not, however, Christianity, Judaism, Islam with Buddhism and Hinduism or with so-called primitive religion, but with Greek, Roman, Jewish, and Christian religions.
This is an excellent edition of Herbert's poetry, but one should note the title carefully. Herbert, in fact, wrote a fair amount of poetry in Latin. That unfortunately, is not included either in original form or in English translation.