Henry Vaughan

(1621 - 23 April 1695 / Brecknockshire, Wales)

Rules And Lessons - Poem by Henry Vaughan

When first thine eyes unveil, give thy soul leave
To do the like: our bodies but forerun
The spirit's duty. True hearts spread and heave
Unto their God, as flowers do to the sun.
Give Him thy first thoughts then; so shalt thou keep
Him company all day, and in Him sleep.

Yet never sleep the sun up: Prayer should
Dawn with the day. There are set awful hours
'Twixt Heaven and us. The manna was not good
After sunrising: far day sullies flowers.
Rise to prevent the sun: sleep doth sin's glut,
And Heaven's gate opens, when this world's shut.

Walk with thy fellow-creatures; note the hush
And whispers amongst them. There's not a spring
Or leaf but hath his morning hymn; each bush
And oak doth know
. Canst thou not sing?

O leave thy cares and follies! go this way,
And thou art sure to prosper all the day.

To heighten thy devotions, and keep low
All mutinous thoughts, what business e'er thou hast,
Observe God in his works; how fountains flow,
Birds sing, beasts feed, fish leap, and th' earth stands fast;
Above are restless motions, running lights,
Vast circling azure, giddy clouds, days, nights.

When seasons change, then lay before thine eyes
His wondrous method; mark the various scenes
In Heaven; hail, thunder, rainbows, snow, and ice,
Calms, tempests, light and darkness, by his means;
Thou canst not miss his praise; each tree, herb, flower,
Are shadows of his wisdom, and his power.

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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 16, 2010

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