Verse > Anthologies > Herbert J.C. Grierson, ed. > Metaphysical Lyrics & Poems of the 17th c.
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Herbert J.C. Grierson, ed. (1886–1960). Metaphysical Lyrics & Poems of the 17th C.  1921.
 
Henry Vaughan
 
113. The Water-fall
 
WITH what deep murmurs through times silent stealth 
Doth thy transparent, cool and watry wealth 
                  Here flowing fall, 
                  And chide, and call, 
As if his liquid, loose Retinue staid         5
Lingring, and were of this steep place afraid, 
                  The common pass 
                  Where, clear as glass, 
                  All must descend 
                  Not to an end:  10
But quickned by this deep and rocky grave, 
Rise to a longer course more bright and brave. 
  
    Dear stream! dear bank, where often I 
    Have sate, and pleas'd my pensive eye, 
    Why, since each drop of thy quick store  15
    Runs thither, whence it flow'd before, 
    Should poor souls fear a shade or night, 
    Who came (sure) from a sea of light? 
    Or since those drops are all sent back 
    So sure to thee, that none doth lack,  20
    Why should frail flesh doubt any more 
    That what God takes, hee'l not restore? 
  
    O useful Element and clear! 
    My sacred wash and cleanser here, 
    My first consigner unto those  25
    Fountains of life, where the Lamb goes? 
    What sublime truths, and wholesome themes, 
    Lodge in thy mystical, deep streams! 
    Such as dull man can never finde 
    Unless that Spirit lead his minde,  30
    Which first upon thy face did move, 
    And hatch'd all with his quickning love. 
    As this loud brooks incessant fall 
    In streaming rings restagnates all, 
    Which reach by course the bank, and then  35
    Are no more seen, just so pass men. 
    O my invisible estate, 
    My glorious liberty, still late! 
    Thou art the Channel my soul seeks, 
    Not this with Cataracts and Creeks.  40
 
 
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