Not rudely, as a beast,
To run into 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 heav’n 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 th’ 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.
by George Herbert, 1633
* In the seventh edition of “Herbert” this word
is printed “ this,” not his, which appears to us
the more intelligible reading.