Verse > Anthologies > The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse > 193. The Habit of Perfection
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Nicholson & Lee, eds.  The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse. 1917.
  
193. The Habit of Perfection
By Gerard Manley Hopkins  (1844–1889)
  
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:        5
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:       10
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       15
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!       20
 
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       25
And now the marriage feast begun,
And lily-coloured clothes provide
Your spouse not laboured-at, nor spun.

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