Selected by Dan Clendenin
Henry Vaughan (1621–1695)
Unfold! Unfold! Take in His light,
Who makes thy cares more short than night.
The joys which with His day-star rise
He deals to all but drowsy eyes;
And, what the men of this world miss
Some drops and dews of future bliss.
Hark! How His winds have chang’d their note!
And with warm whispers call thee out;
The frosts are past, the storms are gone,
And backward life at last comes on.
The lofty groves in express joys
Reply unto the turtle’s voice;
And here in dust and dirt, O here
The lilies of His love appear!
Henry Vaughan, a Welsh poet and physician, was born in Llansanffraid, where he lived for most of his life and was eventually buried. Vaughan studied at Oxford, but never took a degree, and then moved to London where he studied law for two years. He underwent a spiritual awakening that he credited to the poetry of “the blessed man, Mr. George Herbert.” Vaughan was married twice and fathered eight children.
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