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Henry Charles Beeching, ed. (1859–1919). Lyra Sacra: A Book of Religious Verse. 1903.

By George Herbert (1593–1633)

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,        5
  To run into an action;
But still to make Thee prepossest,
  And give it his 1 perfection.
  A man that looks on glass,
  On it may stay his eye;        10
Or if he pleaseth, through it pass,
  And then the heav’n espy.
  All may of Thee partake:
  Nothing can be so mean,
Which with his tincture, for Thy sake, 2        15
  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 th’ action fine.        20
  This is the famous stone
  That turneth all to gold;
For that which God doth touch and own
  Cannot for less be told.
Note 1. Its. [back]
Note 2. Line 15.—For Thy sake is the “tincture” which makes every action bright, the “clause” that makes drudgery divine. [back]