Verse > Anthologies > Herbert J.C. Grierson, ed. > Metaphysical Lyrics & Poems of the 17th c.
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Herbert J.C. Grierson, ed. (1886–1960). Metaphysical Lyrics & Poems of the 17th C.  1921.
 
Henry Vaughan
 
109. Ascension-Hymn
 
THEY are all gone into the world of light! 
    And I alone sit lingring here; 
Their very memory is fair and bright, 
    And my sad thoughts doth clear. 
  
It glows and glitters in my cloudy brest         5
    Like stars upon some gloomy grove, 
Or those faint beams in which this hill is drest, 
    After the Sun's remove. 
  
I see them walking in an Air of glory, 
    Whose light doth trample on my days:  10
My days, which are at best but dull and hoary, 
    Meer glimering and decays. 
  
O holy hope! and high humility, 
    High as the Heavens above! 
These are your walks, and you have shew'd them me  15
    To kindle my cold love. 
  
Dear, beauteous death! the Jewel of the Just, 
    Shining no where, but in the dark; 
What mysteries do lie beyond thy dust; 
    Could man outlook that mark!  20
  
He that hath found some fledg'd birds nest, may know 
    At first sight, if the bird be flown; 
But what fair Well, or Grove he sings in now, 
    That is to him unknown. 
  
And yet, as Angels in some brighter dreams  25
    Call to the soul, when man doth sleep: 
So some strange thoughts transcend our wonted theams, 
    And into glory peep. 
  
If a star were confin'd into a Tomb 
    Her captive flames must needs burn there;  30
But when the hand that lockt her up, gives room, 
    She'l shine through all the sphære. 
  
O Father of eternal life, and all 
    Created glories under thee! 
Resume thy spirit from this world of thrall  35
    Into true liberty. 
  
Either disperse these mists, which blot and fill 
    My perspective (still) as they pass, 
Or else remove me hence unto that hill, 
    Where I shall need no glass.  40
 
 
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