Verse > Anthologies > Herbert J.C. Grierson, ed. > Metaphysical Lyrics & Poems of the 17th c.
Herbert J.C. Grierson, ed. (1886–1960). Metaphysical Lyrics & Poems of the 17th C.  1921.
Henry Vaughan
105. Regeneration
A WARD, and still in bonds, one day 
                  I stole abroad, 
It was high-spring, and all the way 
        Primros'd, and hung with shade; 
        Yet, was it frost within,         5
                  And surly winds 
Blasted my infant buds, and sinne 
        Like Clouds ecclips'd my mind. 
Storm'd thus; I straight perceiv'd my spring 
                  Meere stage, and show,  10
My walke a monstrous, mountain'd thing 
        Rough-cast with Rocks, and snow; 
        And as a Pilgrims Eye 
                  Far from reliefe, 
Measures the melancholy skye  15
        Then drops, and rains for griefe, 
So sigh'd I upwards still, at last 
                  'Twixt steps, and falls 
I reach'd the pinacle, where plac'd 
        I found a paire of scales,  20
        I tooke them up and layd 
                  In th'one late paines, 
The other smoake, and pleasures weigh'd 
        But prov'd the heavier graines; 
With that, some cryed, Away; straight I  25
                  Obey'd, and led 
Full East, a faire, fresh field could spy, 
        Some call'd it, Jacobs Bed; 
        A Virgin-soile, which no 
                  Rude feet ere trod,  30
Where (since he stept there,) only go 
        Prophets, and friends of God. 
Here, I repos'd; but scarse well set, 
                  A grove descryed 
Of stately height, whose branches met  35
        And mixt on every side; 
        I entred, and once in 
                  (Amaz'd to see't,) 
Found all was chang'd, and a new spring 
        Did all my senses greet;  40
The unthrift Sunne shot vitall gold 
                  A thousand peeces, 
And heaven its azure did unfold 
        Checqur'd with snowie fleeces, 
        The aire was all in spice  45
                  And every bush 
A garland wore; Thus fed my Eyes 
        But all the Eare lay hush. 
Only a little Fountain lent 
                  Some use for Eares,  50
And on the dumbe shades language spent 
        The Musick of her teares; 
        I drew her neere, and found 
                  The Cisterne full 
Of divers stones, some bright, and round,  55
        Others ill-shap'd, and dull. 
The first (pray marke,) as quick as light 
                  Danc'd through the floud, 
But, th'last more heavy then the night 
        Nail'd to the Center stood;  60
        I wonder'd much, but tyr'd 
                  At last with thought, 
My restless Eye that still desir'd 
        As strange an object brought; 
It was a banke of flowers, where I descried  65
                  (Though 'twas mid-day,) 
Some fast asleepe, others broad-eyed 
        And taking in the Ray, 
        Here musing long, I heard 
                  A rushing wind  70
Which still increas'd, but whence it stirr'd 
        No where I could not find; 
I turn'd me round, and to each shade 
                  Dispatch'd an Eye, 
To see, if any leafe had made  75
        Least motion, or Reply, 
        But while I listning sought 
                  My mind to ease 
By knowing, where 'twas, or where not, 
        It whisper'd; Where I please.  80
    Lord, then said I, On me one breath, 
    And let me dye before my death! 

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