Verse > Anthologies > Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. > Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry
Ralph Waldo Emerson, comp. (1803–1882).  Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry.  1880.
The Elixir
By George Herbert (1593–1633)
TEACH me, my God and King,
  In all things thee to see;
And, what I do in any thing,
  To do it as for thee:
Not rudely, as a beast,        5
  To run into an action;
But still to make thee prepossessed,
  And give it his perfection.
A man that looks on glass
  On it may stay his eye;        10
Or, if he pleaseth, through it pass,
  And then the heaven espy.
All may of thee partake:
  Nothing can be so mean,
Which with this tincture, for thy sake,        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 the 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.

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