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
 
110. "As time one day by me did pass"
 
AS time one day by me did pass 
    Through a large dusky glasse 
    He held, I chanc'd to look 
    And spyed his curious book 
Of past days, where sad Heav'n did shed         5
A mourning light upon the dead. 
  
Many disordered lives I saw 
    And foul records which thaw 
    My kinde eyes still, but in 
    A fair, white page of thin  10
And ev'n, smooth lines, like the Suns rays, 
Thy name was writ, and all thy days. 
  
O bright and happy Kalendar! 
    Where youth shines like a star 
    All pearl'd with tears, and may  15
    Teach age, The Holy way; 
Where through thick pangs, high agonies 
Faith into life breaks, and death dies. 
  
As some meek night-piece which day quails, 
    To candle-light unveils:  20
    So by one beamy line 
    From thy bright lamp did shine, 
In the same page thy humble grave 
Set with green herbs, glad hopes and brave. 
  
Here slept my thoughts dear mark! which dust  25
    Seem'd to devour, like rust; 
    But dust (I did observe) 
    By hiding doth preserve, 
As we for long and sure recruits, 
Candy with sugar our choice fruits.  30
  
O calm and sacred bed where lies 
    In deaths dark mysteries 
    A beauty far more bright 
    Then the noons cloudless light 
For whose dry dust green branches bud  35
And robes are bleach'd in the Lambs blood. 
  
Sleep happy ashes! (blessed sleep!) 
    While haplesse I still weep; 
    Weep that I have out-liv'd 
    My life, and unreliev'd  40
Must (soul-lesse shadow!) so live on, 
Though life be dead, and my joys gone. 
 
 
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