Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Restoration Verse
William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Restoration Verse.  1910.
The Dawning
By Henry Vaughan (1621–1695)
OH! what time wilt Thou come? when shall that cry
‘The Bridegroom’s coming!’ fill the sky?
Shall it in the evening run
When our words and works are done?
Or will Thy all-surprising light        5
          Break at midnight,
When either sleep, or some dark pleasure
Possesseth mad man without measure?
Or shall these early, fragrant hours
          Unlock Thy bowers?        10
And with their blush of light descry
Thy locks crown’d with eternity?
Indeed, it is the only time
That with Thy glory doth best chime;
All now are stirring, every field        15
          Full hymns doth yield;
The whole creation shakes off night,
And for Thy shadow looks, the light;
Stars now vanish without number,
Sleepy planets set and slumber,        20
The pursy clouds disband and scatter,
All expect some sudden matter,
Not one beam triumphs, but from far
          That morning-star.
O at one time soever Thou,        25
Unknown to us, the heavens wilt bow,
And with Thy angels in the van,
Descend to judge poor careless man,
Grant I may not like puddle lie
In a corrupt security,        30
Where, if a traveller water crave,
He finds it dead, and in a grave;
But at this restless, vocal spring
All day and night doth run and sing,
And though here born, yet is acquainted        35
Elsewhere, and flowing keeps untainted;
So let me all my busy age
In Thy free services engage;
And though—while here—of force I must
Have commerce sometimes with poor dust,        40
And in my flesh, though vile and low,
As this doth in her channel flow,
Yet let my course, my aim, my love,
And chief acquaintance be above;
So when that day and hour shall come,        45
In which Thy Self will be the sun,
Thou’lt find me dress’d and on my way,
Watching the break of Thy great day.

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