by Henry Vaughan

AS Time one day by me did pass,
             Through a large dusky glass
             He held, I chanc'd to look,
             And spied his curious book
Of past days, where sad Heav'n did shed
A mourning light upon the dead.

Many disorder'd lives I saw,
             And foul records, which thaw
             My kind eyes still, but in
             A fair, white page of thin
And ev'n, smooth lines, like the sun's rays,
Thy name was writ, and all thy days.

O bright and happy kalendar !
             Where youth shines like a star
             All pearl'd with tears, and may
             Teach age the holy way ;
Where through thick pangs, high agonies,
Faith into life breaks, and Death dies.

As some meek night-piece which day quails,
             To candle-light unveils :
             So by one beamy line
             From thy bright lamp, did shine
In the same page thy humble grave,
Set with green herbs, glad hopes and brave.

Here slept my thought's dear mark !  which dust
             Seem'd to devour, like rust ;
             But dust—I did observe—
             By hiding doth preserve ;
As we for long and sure recruits,
Candy with sugar our choice fruits.

O calm and sacred bed, where lies
             In death's dark mysteries
             A beauty far more bright
             Than the noon's cloudless light ;
For whose dry dust green branches bud,
And robes are bleach'd in the Lamb's blood.

Sleep, happy ashes !—blessed sleep !—
             While hapless I still weep ;
             Weep that I have outliv'd
             My life, and unreliev'd
Must—soullesse shadow !—so live on,
Though life be dead, and my joys gone.

Vaughan, Henry. The Poems of Henry Vaughan, Silurist. vol I.
E. K. Chambers, Ed. London, Lawrence & Bullen Ltd., 1896. 234-235.

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