Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Restoration Verse
William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Restoration Verse.  1910.
I Walk’d the Other Day to Spend My Hour
By Henry Vaughan (1621–1695)
I WALK’D the other day, to spend my hour,
        Into a field,
Where I sometimes had seen the soil to yield
        A gallant flow’r;
But Winter now had ruffled all the bow’r,        5
        And curious store
      I knew there heretofore.
Yet I, whose search lov’d not to peep and peer
        I’ th’ face of things,
Thought with myself, there might be other springs        10
        Besides this here;
Which, like cold friends, sees us but once a year;
        And so the flow’r
      Might have some other bow’r.
Then taking up what I could nearest spy,        15
        I digg’d about
That place where I had seen him to grow out;
        And by and by
I saw the warm recluse alone to lie,
        Where fresh and green        20
      He liv’d of us unseen.
Many a question intricate and rare
        Did I there strow;
But all I could extort was that he now
        Did there repair        25
Such losses as befell him in this air,
        And would ere long
      Come forth most young and fair.
This past, I threw the clothes quite o’er his head;
        And stung with fear        30
Of my own frailty, dropp’d down many a tear
        Upon his bed;
Then sighing whisper’d, ‘Happy are the dead!
        What peace doth now
      Rock him asleep below!’        35
And yet, how few believe such doctrine springs
        From a poor root,
Which all the Winter sleeps here under foot,
        And hath no wings
To raise it to the truth and light of things;        40
        But is still trod
      By every wand’ring clod.
O Thou! Whose Spirit did at first inflame
        And warm the dead,
And by a sacred incubation fed        45
        With life this frame,
Which once had neither being, form, nor name;
        Grant I may so
      Thy steps track here below,
That in these masques and shadows I may see        50
        Thy sacred way;
And by those hid ascents climb to that day
        Which breaks from Thee,
Who art in all things, though invisibly;
        Show me Thy peace,        55
      Thy mercy, love, and ease.
And from this care, where dreams and sorrows reign,
        Lead me above,
Where light, joy, leisure, and true comforts move
        Without all pain;        60
There, hid in Thee, show me His life again,
        At whose dumb urn
      Thus all the year I mourn!

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