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English Poetry I: From Chaucer to Gray.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

George Herbert

220. The Elixir

TEACH me, my God and King,

In all things Thee to see,

And what I do in anything

To do it as for Thee.

Not rudely, as a beast

To run into an action;

But still to make Thee prepossest

And give it his perfection.

A man that looks on glass

On it may stay his eye,

Or if he pleaseth, through it pass,

And then the heaven espy.

All may of Thee partake

Nothing can be so mean

Which with his tincture, ‘for Thy sake,’

Will not grow bright and clean.

A servant with this clause

Makes drudgery divine;

Who sweeps a room, as for Thy laws,

Makes that and the action fine.

This is the famous stone

That turneth all to gold,

For that which God doth touch and own

Cannot for less be told.