Verse > Anthologies > Harvard Classics > English Poetry I: From Chaucer to Gray
   English Poetry I: From Chaucer to Gray.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
220. The Elixir
George Herbert (1593–1633)
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 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 his 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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