POETRY: Ascension Hymn, by Henry Vaughan

Ascension Hymn Henry Vaughan

 From: Silen Scintillans, Part II

Dust and clay
Man’s ancient wear!
Here you must stay,
But I elsewhere;
Souls sojourn here, but may not rest;
Who will ascend, must be undrest.

And yet some
That know to die
Before death come,
Walk to the sky
Even in this life; but all such can
Leave behind them the old Man.

If a star
Should leave the Sphere,
She must first mar
Her flaming wear,
And after fall, for in her dress
Of glory, she cannot transgress.

Man of old
Within the line
Of Eden could
Like the Sun shine
All naked, innocent and bright,
And intimate with Heav’n, as light;

But since he
That brightness soiled,
His garments be
All dark and spoiled,
And here are left as nothing worth,
Till the Refiner’s fire breaks forth.

Then comes he!
Whose mighty light
Made his clothes be
Like Heav’n, all bright;
The Fuller, whose pure blood did flow
To make stained man more white than snow.

He alone
And none else can
Bring bone to bone
And rebuild man,
And by his all subduing might
Make clay ascend more quick than light.

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