The Habit of Perfection

  • 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.
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