Henry Vaughan

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Henry Vaughan (April 17, 1622 - April 28, 1695) was a Welsh Metaphysical poet and a doctor, the twin brother of the philosopher Thomas Vaughan.


Silex Scintillans (1655)

  • Dear Night! this world's defeat;
    The stop to busy fools; care's check and curb;
    The day of spirits; my soul's calm retreat
    Which none disturb!
    Christ's progress, and His prayer-time;
    The hours to which high Heaven doth chime.
    • The Night, l. 25.
  • There is in God, some say,
    A deep but dazzling darkness.
    • The Night, l. 49.
  • Happy those early days, when I
    Shined in my angel-infancy!
    Before I understood this place
    Appointed for my second race.
    • The Retreat, l. 1.
  • But felt through all this fleshly dress
    Bright shoots of everlastingness.
    • The Retreat, l. 19.
  • Some men a forward motion love,
    But I by backward steps would move.
    • The Retreat, l. 29.
  • I cannot reach it, and my striving eye
    Dazzles at it, as at eternity.
    • Childhood.
  • I saw Eternity the other night
    Like a great ring of pure and endless light.
    All calm, as it was bright;
    And round beneath it, Time in hours, days, years,
    Driv'n by the spheres
    Like a vast shadow moved; in which the world
    And all her train were hurled.
    • The World.
  • They are all gone into the world of light!
    And I alone sit lingering here;
    Their very memory is fair and bright,
    And my sad thoughts doth clear.
    • They Are All Gone, st. 1.
  • I see them walking in an air of glory
    Whose light doth trample on my days,
    My days, which are at best but dull and hoary,
    Mere glimmering and decays.
    • They Are All Gone, st. 3.
  • Dear, beauteous death, the jewel of the just!
    Shining nowhere but in the dark;
    What mysteries do lie beyond thy dust,
    Could man outlook that mark!
    • They Are All Gone, st. 5.
  • And yet, as angels in some brighter dreams
    Call to the soul when man doth sleep,
    So some strange thoughts transcend our wonted themes,
    And into glory peep.
    • They Are All Gone.
  • My soul, there is a country
    Far beyond the stars
    Where stands a wingèd sentry
    All skillful in the wars:
    There, above noise and danger,
    Sweet Peace is crowned with smiles,
    And One born in a manger
    Commands the beauteous files.
    • Peace, st. 1.
  • Then bless thy secret growth, nor catch
    At noise, but thrive unseen and dumb;
    Keep clean, be as fruit, earn life, and watch
    Till the white-wing’d reapers come!
    • The Seed Growing Secretly.

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