Verse > Anthologies > Francis T. Palgrave, ed. > The Golden Treasury
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Francis T. Palgrave, ed. (1824–1897). The Golden Treasury.  1875.
 
H. Vaughan
 
LXXV. The Retreat
 
HAPPY those early days, when I 
Shined in my Angel-infancy! 
Before I understood this place 
Appointed for my second race, 
Or taught my soul to fancy aught         5
But a white, celestial thought; 
When yet I had not walk'd above 
A mile or two from my first Love, 
And looking back, at that short space 
Could see a glimpse of His bright face;  10
When on some gilded cloud or flower 
My gazing soul would dwell an hour, 
And in those weaker glories spy 
Some shadows of eternity; 
Before I taught my tongue to wound  15
My conscience with a sinful sound, 
Or had the black art to dispense 
A several sin to every sense, 
But felt through all this fleshly dress 
Bright shoots of everlastingness.  20
  
Oh how I long to travel back, 
And tread again that ancient track! 
That I might once more reach that plain 
Where first I left my glorious train; 
From whence th' enlighten'd spirit sees  25
That shady City of palm trees! 
But ah! my soul with too much stay 
Is drunk, and staggers in the way:— 
Some men a forward motion love, 
But I by backward steps would move;  30
And when this dust falls to the urn, 
In that state I came, return. 
 
 
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