Approach you slowly, sly and soft,
Begin with hesitant rumble.
Come closer then, and cast aloft
Your sweet but solemn song.
Before his cruelty makes humble
The crow upon your shoulder,
Beware of bowing low and long
Where flattery warrants not.
Be rather lively, beaming, bolder
Than a chucklehead with a rattle.
Though his heart has rot
And weeps for no one,
Fear not the tone of battle.
Go forth with grace and mild gaze,
As you have always gone.
after Thomas Tallis’ Canon