Henry Vaughan

(1621 - 23 April 1695 / Brecknockshire, Wales)

And Do They So? - Poem by Henry Vaughan

'Etenim res creatoe exerto capite observantes
expectant revelationem Filiorum Dei.'

'For created things, watching with head erect,
await the revelation of the Sons of God.'

And do they so? Have they a sense
Of aught but influence?
Can they their heads lift, and expect,
And groan too? Why the elect
Can do no more; my volumes said
They were all dull, and dead;
They judged them senseless, and their state
Wholly inanimate.
Go, go, seal up thy looks,
And burn thy books.

I would I were a stone, or tree,
Or flower, by pedigree,
Or some poor highway herb, or spring
To flow, or bird to sing!
Then should I, tied to one sure state,
All day expect my date;
But I am sadly loose, and stray
A giddy blast each way;
O let me not thus range,
Thou canst not change!

Sometimes I sit with Thee and tarry
An hour or so, then vary;
Thy other creatures in this scene
Thee only aim and mean;
Some rise to seek Thee, and with heads
Erect, peep from their beds;
Others, whose birth is in the tomb,
And cannot quit the womb,
Sigh there, and groan for Thee,
Their liberty.

O let me not do less! Shall they
Watch, while I sleep or play?
Shall I thy mercies still abuse
With fancies, friends, or news?
O brook it not! Thy blood is mine,
And my soul should be Thine;
O brook it not! why wilt Thou stop,
After whole showers, one drop?
Sure Thou wilt joy to see
Thy sheep with Thee.

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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 16, 2010

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