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Tony Grist

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The Elixir [May. 4th, 2020|09:06 am]
Tony Grist
There's this to be said for having grown up singing hymns- that some of the tunes are good tunes and some of the lyrics are poetry. For instance, I'm not sorry that I know Bunyan's pilgrim song by heart because it always cheers me up.

Again when I'm doing housework- and feeling hard done by- George Herbert usually comes along with his "Elixir". I was only going to quote a couple of lines- but we might as well have the whole thing because it's short and well-nigh perfect.

The Elixir
By George Herbert

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.

[User Picture]From: callmemadam
2020-05-04 10:41 am (UTC)
Reading that, I heard the tune in my head. So familiar and much loved by many. I love George Herbert.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2020-05-04 10:52 am (UTC)
A good man- and a fine poet.
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[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2020-05-04 01:10 pm (UTC)
my (maternal) grandmother's favorite was In the Garden. My other grandmother's was Old Rugged Cross. I loved singing hyms, I was in choir as a kid and then again later. When I hear some of them I almost believe....almost.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2020-05-04 01:40 pm (UTC)
I was the kid on the back row of the choir who was told to mime.

So, incidentally, was Ailz.

Neither of us can hold a tune.
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[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2020-05-04 04:57 pm (UTC)
I had a kid in my choir named Kyle (this was when I was co director of the kid's choir). Bless him, he had the loudest most offkey voice of ANYONE I ever heard. The congregation loved him, and I gave up trying to hide him. It says "Make a joyful noise." nowhere does it say "on key". I know of several people like you who were told when they were young and enjoyed singing, that they shouldn't. Some of them never sang again, not even to themselves. That makes me sad.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2020-05-04 05:06 pm (UTC)
I gave up trying to learn the guitar when I realised I simply couldn't hear whether the thing was in tune or not.
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[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2020-05-04 05:08 pm (UTC)
oh, wise one.
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[User Picture]From: mexpatriot
2020-05-04 02:07 pm (UTC)
Wow! Pantheism! :)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2020-05-04 05:09 pm (UTC)
Yes, but Herbert- as a staunch Anglican- wouldn't have thanked you for pointing it out.

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