by Henry Vaughan

HAIL, sacred shades ! cool, leafy house !
Chaste treasurer of all my vows
And wealth ! on whose soft bosom laid
My love's fair steps I first betray'd :
    Henceforth no melancholy flight,
No sad wing, or hoarse bird of night,
Disturb this air, no fatal throat
Of raven, or owl, awake the note
Of our laid echo, no voice dwell
Within these leaves, but Philomel.
The poisonous ivy here no more
His false twists on the oak shall score ;
Only the woodbine here may twine,
As th' emblem of her love, and mine ;
The amorous sun shall here convey
His best beams, in thy shades to play ;
The active air the gentlest show'rs
Shall from his wings rain on thy flowers ;
And the moon from her dewy locks
Shall deck thee with her brightest drops.
Whatever can a fancy move,
Or feed the eye, be on this grove !
    And when at last the winds and tears
Of heaven, with the consuming years,
Shall these green curls bring to decay,
And clothe thee in an aged gray
—If ought a lover can foresee,
Or if we poets prophets be—
From hence transplanted, thou shalt stand
A fresh grove in th' Elysian land ;
Where—most bless'd pair !— as here on earth
Thou first didst eye our growth, and birth ;
So there again, thou'lt see us move
In our first innocence and love ;
And in thy shades, as now, so then,
We'll kiss, and smile, and walk again.

Vaughan, Henry. The Poems of Henry Vaughan, Silurist. vol II.
E. K. Chambers, Ed. London, Lawrence & Bullen Ltd., 1896. 25-26.

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