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Till the warm sun pities its pain,
And to the skies exhales it back again.
So the soul, that drop, that ray,
Of the clear fountain of eternal day,
Could it within the human flower be seen, Remembering still its former height,
Shuns the sweet leaves and blossoms green; And, recollecting its own light, Does, in its pure and circling thoughts, express The greater heaven in a heaven less. In how coy a figure wound,
Every way it turns away!
To the world excluding round,
Yet receiving in the day;
Dark beneath, but bright above;
Here disdaining, there in love.
How loose and easy hence to go !
How girt and ready to ascend !
Moving but on a point below,
In all about does upwards bend. Such did the manna's sacred dew distil, White and entire, although congealed and chillCongealed on earth ; but does, dissolving, run Into the glories of the Almighty sun.
HENRY VAUGHAN, styled “the Silurist” by his contemporaries, from being of the Silures, a people of South Wales, was descended from the ancient Cambrian kings, and was born in Brecknockshire, in 1621. In his seventeenth year he was entered of Jesus College, Oxford, whence after two years he was removed to London. He was intended for the bar, but at the commencement of the civil war he relinquished it, and became eminent both as a poet and a physician. His sacred poems are remarkable for originality and picturesque grace, though it must be confessed they are sullied with many conceits unworthy of the theme. He died in 1695. He wrote “Silex Scintillans,” “Sacred Poems," and “ Private Ejaculations," of which a fine edition was published in London by Pickering, in 1817.
Lord! what a busy, restless thing
Hast thou made man !
Each day and hour he is on wing,
Rests not a span.
Then having lost the sun and light,
By clouds surprised,
He keeps a commerce in the night
With air disguised.
Hadst thou given to this active dust
A state untired,
The lost son had not left the husk,
Nor home desired.
That was thy secret, and it is
Thy mercy too;
For when all fails to bring to bliss,
Then this must do.
Ah! Lord! and what a purchase will that be,
To take us sick, that sound would not take thee!
Thou art not Truth! for he that tries
Shall find thee all deceit and lies.
Thou art not Friendship! for in thee
"Tis but the bait of policy;
Which like a viper lodged in flowers,
Its venom through that sweetness pours ;
And when not so, then always ’tis
A fading paint, the shortlived bliss
Of air and humor, out and in,
Like colors in a dolphin's skin :
But must not live beyond one day,
Or for convenience, then away.
Thou art not Riches ! for that trash,
Which one age hoards, the next doth wash,
And so severely sweep away,
That few remember where it lay.
So rapid streams the wealthy land
About them have at their command;
And shifting channels here restore,
There break down, what they banked before.
Thou art not Honor! for those
Feathers will wear and drop away;
And princes to some upstart line
Give new ones, that are full as fine.
Thou art not Pleasure! For thy rose
Upon a thorn doth still repose,
Which, if not cropped, will quickly shed,
But soon as cropped grows dull and dead.
Thou art the sand which fills one glass,
And then doth to another pass;
And could I put thee to a stay,
Thou art but dust! Then go thy way,
And leave me clean and bright, though poor;
Who stops thee doth but daub his floor;
And, swallow-like, when he hath done,
To unknown dwellings must be gone.
Welcome, pure thoughts, and peaceful hours,
Enriched with sunshine and with showers !
Welcome fair hopes, and holy cares,
The not to be repented shares
Of time and business, the sure road
Unto my last and loved abode!
O supreme Bliss !
The circle, centre, and abyss
Of blessings, never let me miss
Nor leave that path which leads to thee,
Who art alone all things to me!
I hear, I see, all the long day
The noise and pomp of the “ broad way.”
I note their coarse and proud approaches,
Their silks, perfumes, and glittering coaches.
But in the “narrow way” to Thee
I observe only poverty,
And despised things; and all along
The ragged, mean, and humble throng
Are still on foot; and as they go
They sigh and say, Their Lord went so!
Give me my staff, then, as it stood
When green and growing in the wood.
The stones, which for the altar served,
Might not be smoothed nor finely carved.
With this poor stick I'll pass the ford,
As Jacob did ; and Thy dear word,
As Thou hast dressed it, not as wit
And depraved tastes have poisoned it,
Shall in the passage
And none else shall thy servant eat.
Thus, thus, and in no other sort,
Will I set forth, though laughed at fort ;
And leaving the wise world their way,
Go through, though judged to go astray.