.from the quills of the dead white poet
Henry Vaughan (1622 – 1695)
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
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;
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
My conscience with a sinful sound,
Or had the black art to dispense
A several sin to every to every sense,
But felt through all this fleshy dress
Bright shoots of everlastingness.
O how I long to travel back,
And thread again that ancient track!
That might once more reach that plain,
Where first I left my glorious train;
from whence th’enlighten’d spirit sees
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,
And when this dust falls to the urn,
In that state I came, return.