“If you should stray from God, still let me cling”

 

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.

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