For Henry Purcell
They say that words are powerful; and yet
Bare words alone may be misunderstood,
Twisted to evil from intended good,
Robbed of their vision, overturned, upset.
Bare words have dignity and look not ill,
But Henry Purcell came with cloth of gold
And made them clothing wondrous to behold,
To show them truer yet and fairer still.
Words meant for worship, wonder, love and praise,
Words from the quiet solitude of prayer,
Words sobbed in bitter consciousness of sin,
Words of the prophets on the final days;
He wrought them melodies with subtle care
To light for all the truth that stands within.