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Henry Vaughan (Генри Воэн)


Regeneration


A ward, and still in bonds, one day
I stole abroad;
It was high spring, and all the way
Primrosed and hung with shade;
Yet was it frost within,
And surly winds
Blasted my infant buds, and sin
Like clouds eclipsed my mind.

Stormed thus, I straight perceived my spring
Mere stage and show,
My walk a monstrous, mountained thing,
Roughcast with rocks and snow;
And as a pilgrim’s eye,
Far from relief,
Measures the melancholy sky,
Then drops and rains for grief,

So sighed I upwards still; at last
’Twixt steps and falls
I reached the pinnacle, where placed
I found a pair of scales;
I took them up and laid
In th’ one, late pains;
The other smoke and pleasures weighed,
But proved the heavier grains.

With that some cried, “Away!” Straight I
Obeyed, and led
Full east, a fair, fresh field could spy;
Some called it Jacob’s bed,
A virgin soil which no
Rude feet ere trod,
Where, since he stepped there, only go
Prophets and friends of God.

Here I reposed; but scarce well set,
A grove descried
Of stately height, whose branches met
And mixed on every side;
I entered, and once in,
Amazed to see ’t,
Found all was changed, and a new spring
Did all my senses greet.

The unthrift sun shot vital gold,
A thousand pieces,
And heaven its azure did unfold,
Checkered with snowy fleeces;
The air was all in spice,
And every bush
A garland wore; thus fed my eyes,
But all the ear lay hush.

Only a little fountain lent
Some use for ears,
And on the dumb shades language spent
The music of her tears;
I drew her near, and found
The cistern full
Of divers stones, some bright and round,
Others ill-shaped and dull.

The first, pray mark, as quick as light
Danced through the flood,
But the last, more heavy than the night,
Nailed to the center stood;
I wondered much, but tired
At last with thought,
My restless eye that still desired
As strange an object brought.

It was a bank of flowers, where I descried
Though ’twas midday,
Some fast asleep, others broad-eyed
And taking in the ray;
Here, musing long, I heard
A rushing wind
Which still increased, but whence it stirred
No where I could not find.

I turned me round, and to each shade
Dispatched an eye
To see if any leaf had made
Least motion or reply,
But while I listening sought
My mind to ease
By knowing where ’twas, or where not,
It whispered, “Where I please.”

“Lord,” then said I, “on me one breath,
And let me die before my death!” 



Henry Vaughan's other poems:
  1. Cock-Crowing
  2. Content
  3. The Shepherds
  4. The True Christians
  5. Vain Wits and Eyes


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