Encompassed at all corners by such fine
a cadre of companions, knights, and flags
as could be wished by any modern mistress
between her piles of trashy plastic bags,
take care you mind your station and your manners.
As hallowed as the doe or white-faced owl;
as basic as black-standard-bearing banners;
as crucial as the Cross and cleric's cowl
are these to you, who have no other place
of peace except in syndicate of fairies,
etched-glass affections, unpretentious grace,
waxen, lit wicks, remorse, and pale Hail Marys.
Ignore the crass; observe—if there is need—
cats' cradles, china, the Apostle's Creed . . .