If you should stray from God, still let me cling
To Him, and not your form, in which He crouched
Awhile—vouchsafing through your lips to sing,
And pressing lilting lyrics through your mouth.
For, often, I’ve beheld your beaming face
Upwelling with a more-than-mortal bliss
And marveled, and supposed such wholesome grace
Must spring from inner stores of holiness.
But other times, you’ve coughed a clanging note,
Riling and rankling everything around—
And then I’ve cringed, and longed to shut your throat:
For how could Heaven’s choirboy belt such sound?
Oh, earthly mouths may sing of God or Hell—
You’ve merely read all scores, and sing all well.