Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Restoration Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Restoration Verse.  1910.
 
Corruption
By Henry Vaughan (1621–1695)
 
SURE, it was so. Man in those early days
  Was not all stone and earth:
He shin’d a little, and by those weak rays
  Had some glimpse of his birth.
He saw heaven o’er his head, and knew from whence        5
  He came, condemnèd, thither;
And, as first love draws strongest, so from hence
  His mind sure progress’d thither.
Things here were strange unto him; sweat and till;
  All was a thorn or weed;        10
Nor did those last, but—like himself—died still
  As soon as they did seed;
They seem’d to quarrel with him; for that act,
  They fell him, foil’d them all;
He drew the curse upon the world, and crack’d        15
  The whole frame with his fall.
This made him long for home, as loth to stay
  With murmurers and foes;
He sighed for Eden, and would often say
  ‘Ah! what bright days were those!’        20
Nor was heav’n cold unto him; for each day
  The valley or the mountain
Afforded visits, and still Paradise lay
  In some green shade or fountain.
Angels lay leiger here; each bush, and cell,        25
  Each oak, and highway knew them;
Walk but the fields, or sit down at some well,
  And he was sure to view them.
Almighty Love! where art Thou now? mad man
  Sits down and freezeth on;        30
He raves, and swears to stir nor fire, nor fan,
  But bids the thread be spun.
I see, Thy curtains are close-drawn; Thy bow
  Looks dim too in the cloud;
Sin triumphs still, and man is sunk below        35
  The centre, and his shroud.
All’s in deep sleep and night: thick darkness lies
  And hatcheth o’er Thy people—
But hark! what trumpet’s that? what angel cries
  ‘Arise! thrust in Thy sickle?’        40
 
 
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