The Retreat

.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.

About Avadoro Worden

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