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,
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;

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.


Taken from The Elixir by George Herbert (1593-1633). Public Domain.