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
112. The Night
John 2. 3
    THROUGH that pure Virgin-shrine, 
That sacred vail drawn o'r thy glorious noon 
That men might look and live as Glo-worms shine, 
        And face the Moon: 
    Wise Nicodemus saw such light         5
    As made him know his God by night. 
    Most blest believer he! 
Who in that land of darkness and blinde eyes 
Thy long expected healing wings could see, 
        When thou didst rise,  10
    And what can never more be done, 
    Did at mid-night speak with the Sun! 
    O who will tell me, where 
He found thee at that dead and silent hour! 
What hallow'd solitary ground did bear  15
        So rare a flower, 
    Within whose sacred leafs did lie 
    The fulness of the Deity. 
    No mercy-seat of gold, 
No dead and dusty Cherub, nor carv'd stone,  20
But his own living works did my Lord hold 
        And lodge alone; 
    Where trees and herbs did watch and peep 
    And wonder, while the Jews did sleep. 
    Dear night! this worlds defeat;  25
The stop to busie fools; cares check and curb; 
The day of Spirits; my souls calm retreat 
        Which none disturb! 
    Christs progress, and his prayer time; 
    The hours to which high Heaven doth chime.  30
    Gods silent, searching flight: 
When my Lords head is fill'd with dew, and all 
His locks are wet with the clear drops of night; 
        His still, soft call; 
    His knocking time; The souls dumb watch,  35
    When Spirits their fair kinred catch. 
    Were all my loud, evil days 
Calm and unhaunted as is thy dark Tent, 
Whose peace but by some Angels wing or voice 
        Is seldom rent;  40
    Then I in Heaven all the long year 
    Would keep, and never wander here. 
    But living where the Sun 
Doth all things wake, and where all mix and tyre 
Themselves and others, I consent and run  45
        To ev'ry myre, 
    And by this worlds ill-guiding light, 
    Erre more then I can do by night. 
    There is in God (some say) 
A deep, but dazzling darkness; As men here  50
Say it is late and dusky, because they 
        See not all clear; 
    O for that night! where I in him 
    Might live invisible and dim. 

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