Henry Vaughan

(1621 - 23 April 1695 / Brecknockshire, Wales)

Corruption


Sure it was so. Man in those early days
Was not all stone and earth;
He shined a little, and by those weak rays
Had some glimpse of his birth.
He saw Heaven o'er his head, and knew from whence
He came, condemned hither;
And, as first love draws strongest, so from hence
His mind sure progressed thither.
Things here were strange unto him: sweat and till,
All was a thorn or weed:
Nor did those last, but - like himself - died still
As soon as they did seed.
They seemed to quarrel with him, for that act
That felled him foiled them all:
He drew the curse upon the world, and cracked
The whole frame with his fall.
This made him long for home, as loth to stay
With murmurers and foes;
He sighed for Eden, and would often say,
'Ah! what bright days were those!'
Nor was Heaven cold unto him; for each day
The valley or the mountain
Afforded visits, and still paradise lay
In some green shade or fountain.
Angels lay lieger here; each bush and cell,
Each oak and highway knew them;
Walk but the fields, or sit down at some well,
And he was sure to view them.
Almighty Love! where art Thou now? Mad man
Sits down and freezeth on;
HE raves, and swears to stir nor fire, nor fan,
But bids the thread be spun.
I see, Thy curtains are close-drawn; Thy bow
Sin triumphs still, and man is sunk below
The center, and his shroud.
All's in deep sleep and night: thick darkness lies
And hatcheth o'er Thy people -
But hark! what trumpet's that? what angel cries,
'Arise! thrust in Thy sickle'?

Submitted: Friday, April 16, 2010

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