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Henry Vaughan

(1621 - 23 April 1695 / Brecknockshire, Wales)

Cock-Crowing


Father of lights! what sunny seed,
What glance of day hast Thou confined
Into this bird? To all the breed
This busy ray Thou hast assigned;
Their magnetism works all night,
And dreams of paradise and light.

Their eyes watch for the morning hue;
Their little grain, expelling night,
So shines and sings as if it knew
The path unto the house of light.
It seems their candle, howe'er done,
Was tinned and lighted at the sun.

If such a tincture, such a touch,
So firm a longing can empower,
Shall Thy own image think it much
To watch for Thy appearing hour?
If a mere blast so fill the sail,
Shall not the breath of God prevail?

O Thou immortal Light and Heat!
Whose hand so shines through all this frame
That, by the beauty of the seat,
We plainly see who made the same,
Seeing Thy seed abides in me,
Dwell Thou in it, and I in Thee!

To sleep without Thee is to die;
Yea, 'tis a death partakes of hell:
For where Thou dost not close the eye,
It never opens, I can tell.
In such a dark Egyptian border,
The shades of death dwell, and disorder.

If joys, and hopes, and earnest throes,
And hearts whose pulse beats still for light
Are given to birds, who but Thee knows
A love-sick soul's exalted flight?
Can souls be tracked by any eye
But His who gave them wings to fly?

Only this veil which Thou hast broke,
And must be broken yet in me,
This veil, I say, is all the cloak
And cloud which shadows Thee from me.
This veil Thy full-eyed love denies,
And only gleams and fractions spies.

O take it off! make no delay;
But brush me with Thy light that I
May shine unto a perfect day,
And warm me at Thy glorious eye!
O take it off, or till it flee,
Though with no lily, stay with me!

Submitted: Friday, April 16, 2010

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