Verse > Anthologies > The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse > 386. Everymaid
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Nicholson & Lee, eds.  The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse. 1917.
  
386. Everymaid
By John Oxenham
  
KING’S Daughter!
  Would’st thou be all fair,
Without—within—
Peerless and beautiful,
A very Queen?        5
 
Know then:—
Not as men build unto the Silent One,—
With clang and clamour,
Traffic of rude voices,
Clink of steel on stone,       10
And din of hammer;—
Not so the temple of thy grace is reared.
But,—in the inmost shrine
Must thou begin,
And build with care       15
A Holy Place,
A place unseen,
Each stone a prayer.
Then, having built,
Thy shrine sweep bare       20
Of self and sin,
And all that might demean;
And, with endeavour,
Watching ever, praying ever,
Keep it fragrant-sweet, and clean:       25
So, by God’s grace, it be fit place,—
His Christ shall enter and shall dwell therein.
Not as in earthly fane—where chase
Of steel on stone may strive to win
Some outward grace,—       30
Thy temple face is chiselled from within.

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