[The Court of the Temple, Detail of Model]from The Temple (1633), by George Herbert:


¶   The Elixir.

    TEach me, my God and King,
        In all things thee to see,
And what I do in any thing,
        To do it as for thee:

        Not rudely, as a beast,
        To runne into an action;
But still to make thee prepossest,
        And give it his perfection.

        A man that looks on glasse,
        On it may stay his eye;
Or if he pleaseth, through it passe,
        And then the heav’n espie.

        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 drudgerie 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 lesse be told.

Williams MS of "The Elixir"Manuscript of ''The Elixir''

Music: Words: verses 2-4 recast by John Wesley, 1738. Music: "Emmaus," Joseph Barnby, 1862.     Click to open music in another program.

Teach me, my God and King,
In all things Thee to see,
And what I do in anything
To do it as for Thee.

To scorn the senses’ sway,
While still to Thee I tend:
In all I do be Thou the Way,
In all be Thou the End.

All may of Thee partake;
Nothing so small can be
But draws, when acted for Thy sake,
Greatness and worth from Thee.

If done to obey Thy laws,
E’en servile labors shine;
Hallowed is toil, if this the cause,
The meanest work divine.

Criticism: Christ as the philosopher’s stone in George Herbert’s ’The Elixir.’" by Clarence H. Miller

[Background music is the hymn tune "Emmaus" arranged for George Herbert’s "The Elixir" by Red Dragon.]  Click to open music in another program.

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