The Habit of Perfection

    Elected Silence, sing to me

    And beat upon my whorlèd ear,

    Pipe me to pastures still and be

    The music that I care to hear.


    Shape nothing, lips; be lovely-dumb:

    It is the shut, the curfew sent

    From there where all surrenders come

    Which only makes you eloquent.


    Be shellèd, eyes, with double dark

    And find the uncreated light:

    This ruck and reel which you remark

    Coils, keeps, and teases simple sight.


    Palate, the hutch of tasty lust,

    Desire not to be rinsed with wine:

    The can must be so sweet, the crust

    So fresh that come in fasts divine!


    Nostrils, your careless breath that spend

    Upon the stir and keep of pride,

    What relish shall the censers send

    Along the sanctuary side?


    O feel-of-primrose hands, O feet

    That want the yield of plushy sward,

    But you shall walk the golden street

    And you unhouse and house the Lord.


    And, Poverty, be thou the bride

    And now the marriage feast begun,

    And lily-coloured clothes provide

    Your spouse not laboured-at nor spun.