Verse > Anthologies > The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse > 37. Rules and Lessons
Nicholson & Lee, eds.  The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse. 1917.
37. Rules and Lessons
By Henry Vaughan  (1621–1695)
WHEN first thy Eies unveil, give thy Soul leave
  To do the like; our Bodies but forerun
The spirits duty; True hearts spread, and heave
Unto their God, as flow’rs do to the Sun.
  Give him thy first thoughts then; so shalt thou keep        5
  Him company all day, and in him sleep.…
Walk with thy fellow-creatures: note the hush
And whispers amongst them. There’s not a Spring,
Or Leafe but hath his Morning-hymn; Each Bush
And Oak doth know I AM; canst thou not sing?       10
  O leave thy Cares, and follies! go this way
  And thou art sure to prosper all the day.…
Spend not an hour so, as to weep another,
For tears are not thine own; If thou giv’st words
Dash not thy friend, nor Heav’n; O smother       15
A vip’rous thought; some Syllables are Swords.
  Unbitted tongues are in their penance double,
  They shame their owners, and the hearers trouble.…
When Seasons change, then lay before thine Eys
His wondrous Method; mark the various Scenes       20
In heav’n; Hail, Thunder, Rain-bows, Snow, and Ice,
Calmes, Tempests, Light, and darknes by his means;
  Thou canst not misse his Praise; Each tree, herb, flowre
  Are shadows of his wisedome, and his Pow’r.



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