Poetry

Henry Vaughan – Seven Favorite Poems !

Tomorrow, April 17, marks the birthday of poet Henry Vaughan…

We honor the occasion with seven of our favorite poems by Henry Vaughan …

Henry Vaughan (17 April 1621 – 23 April 1695) was a Welsh metaphysical poet, author, translator, and physician, who wrote in English. He is chiefly known for religious poetry contained in Silex Scintillans, published in 1650, with a second part in 1655. In 1646 his poems, with the Tenth Satyre of Juvenal Englished, were published, followed by a second volume in 1647. Meanwhile, he had been “converted” by reading the religious poet George Herbert and gave up “idle verse”. The prose Mount of Olives or Solitary Devotions (1652) show the depth of his religious convictions and the authenticity of his poetic genius. (via Wikipedia)

Henry Vaughan: Oxford Poetry Library

The Bird
Henry Vaughan

Hither thou com’st ; the busy wind all night
Blew through thy lodging, where thy own warm wing
Thy pillow was.   Many a sullen storm
(For which course man seems much the fitter born)
Rained on thy bed
And harmless head.

And now as fresh and cheerful as the light,
Thy little heart in early hymns doth sing
Unto that providence, whose unseen arm
Curbed them, and clothed thee well and warm.
All things that be, praise him ; and had
Their lesson taught them, when first made.

So hills and valleys into singing break,
And though poor stones have neither speech nor tongue,
While active winds and streams both run and speak,
Yet stones are deep in admiratiòn.
Thus Praise and Prayer here beneath the sun
Make lesser mornings, when the great are done.

For each encolsèd spirit is a star
Inlighting his own little sphere,
Whose light, though fetched and borrowed from afar,
Both mornings makes and evenings there.

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