by Henry Vaughan

WHATEVER 'tis, whose beauty here below
Attracts thee thus and makes thee stream and flow,
             And wind and curl, and wink and smile,
                        Shifting thy gate and guile,

Though thy close commerce nought at all imbars
My present search, for eagles eye not stars ;
             And still the lesser by the best
                        And highest good is blest ;

Yet, seeing all things that subsist and be,
Have their commissions from Divinity,
             And teach us duty, I will see
                        What man may learn from thee.

First, I am sure, the subject so respected
Is well-disposed ; for bodies, once infected,
             Deprav'd, or dead, can have with thee
                        No hold, nor sympathy.

Next, there's in it a restless, pure desire
And longing for thy bright and vital fire,
             Desire that never will be quench'd,
                        Nor can be writh'd nor wrench'd.

These are the magnets, which so strongly move
And work all night upon thy light and love ;
             As beauteous shapes, we know not why,
                        Command and guide the eye.

For where desire, celestial, pure desire,
Hath taken root, and grows, and doth not tire,
             There God a commerce states, and sheds
                        His secret on their heads.

This is the heart he craves ; and whoso will
But give it Him, and grudge not, he shall feel
             That God is true ; as herbs unseen
                        Put on their youth and green.

Vaughan, Henry. The Poems of Henry Vaughan, Silurist. vol I.
E. K. Chambers, Ed. London, Lawrence & Bullen Ltd., 1896. 191-192.

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