Henry Vaughan

POETRY: Peace by Henry Vaughan

January 3, 2016

My Soul, there is a country        Afar beyond the stars, Where stands a winged sentry        All skillful in the wars; There, above noise and danger        Sweet Peace sits, crown’d with smiles, And One born in a manger        Commands the beauteous files. He is thy gracious friend        And (O my Soul awake!) Did in pure love descend,        To die here for thy sake. If thou canst get but thither,        There grows the flow’r of peace, The rose that cannot wither,        Thy fortress, and thy ease. Leave then thy foolish ranges,        For none can thee secure, But One, who never changes,        Thy God, thy life, thy [...]

POETRY: Death — A Dialogue by Henry Vaughan

June 18, 2014

Soul. ‘Tis a sad Land, that in one day Hath dulled thee thus, when death shall freeze Thy blood to ice, and thou must stay Tenant for years, and centuries, How wilt thou brook’t?— Body. I cannot tell,— But if all sense wings not with thee, And something still be left the dead, I’ll wish my curtains off to free Me from so dark, and sad a bed; A nest of nights, a gloomy sphere, Where shadows thicken, and the cloud Sits on the sun’s brow all the year, And nothing moves without a shroud; Soul. ‘Tis so: But as thou sawest that night We traveled in, our first attempts Were dull, and blind, but custom straight Our fears, and falls brought to contempt, Then, when the ghastly twelve was past We breathed still for a [...]

POETRY: The Retreat by Henry Vaughan

January 2, 2014

(It is written that this poem is about the soul’s desire to return to its original and pure state.) Happy those early days, when I Shined in my angel-infancy! Before I understood this place Appointed for my second race, Or taught my soul to fancy aught But a white celestial thought; When yet I had not walked above A mile or two from my first love, And looking back, at that short space, Could see a glimpse of his bright face; When on some gilded cloud, or flower, My gazing soul would dwell an hour, And in those weaker glories spy Some shadows of eternity; Before I taught my tongue to wound My conscience with a sinful sound, Or had the black art to dispense A several sin to every sense, But felt through all this fleshly dress Bright [...]

POETRY: The Shepherds by Henry Vaughan

December 31, 2013

Sweet, harmless livers! (on whose holy leisure Waits innocence and pleasure,) Whose leaders to those pastures, and clear springs, Were Patriarchs, Saints, and Kings, How happened it that in the dead of night You only saw true light, While Palestine was fast asleep, and lay Without one thought of day? Was it because those first and blessed swains Were pilgrims on those plains When they received the promise, for which now ‘Twas there first shown to you? ‘Tis true, he loves that dust whereon they go That serve him here below, And therefore might for memory of those His love there first disclose; But wretched Salem once his love, must now No voice nor vision know, Her stately piles with all their height and pride Now languishèd [...]

POETRY: Christ’s Nativity by Henry Vaughan

December 30, 2013

Awake, glad heart! get up, and sing, It is the birthday of thy King, Awake! Awake! The sun doth shake Light from his locks, and all the way Breathing perfumes, doth spice the day. Awake! awake! hark, how th’ wood rings, Winds whisper, and the busy springs A consort make; Awake! Awake! Man is their high-priest, and should rise To offer up the sacrifice. I would I were some bird, or star, Flutt’ring in woods, or lifted far Above this inn And road of sin! Then either star, or bird, should be Shining, or singing still to thee. I would I had in my best part Fit rooms for thee! or that my heart Were so clean as Thy manger was! But I am all filth, and obscene, Yet, if thou wilt, thou canst make clean. Sweet Jesu! will then; Let no [...]

POETRY: Ascension Hymn, by Henry Vaughan

May 17, 2012

 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 [...]