- Silex Scintillans (Regeneration) by Henry Vaughan
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Silex Scintillans

by Henry Vaughan


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


Storm'd thus; I straight perceiv'd my spring 
    Mere stage, and show, 
My walk a monstrous, mountain's thing 
     Rough-cast with rocks, and snow; 
     And as a pilgrim's eye 
    Far from relief, 
Measures the melancholy sky 
     Then drops, and rains for grief,


So sigh'd I upwards still, at last 
          'Twixt steps, and falls 
I reach'd the pinnacle, where plac'd 
      I found a pair of scales, 
      I took them up and laid 
          In th'one late pains, 
The other smoke, and pleasures weigh'd 
      But prov'd the heavier grains;


With that, some cried, Away; straight I 
          Obey'd, and led 
Full east, a fair, fresh field could spy 
      Some call'd it Jacob's Bed; 
      A virgin-soil, which no 
          Rude feet ere trod, 
Where (since he slept there,) only go 
      Prophets, and friends of God.


Here, I repos'd; but scarce well set, 
     A grove descried 
Of stately height, whose branches met 
      And mixed on every side; 
      I entered, and once in 
     (Amaz'd to see't,) 
Found all was chang'd, and a new spring 
      Did all my senses greet;


The unthrift sun shot vital gold 
         A thousand pieces, 
And heaven its azure did unfold 
     Checker'd 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 diverse stones, some bright, and round 
     Others ill'shap'd, and dull.


The first (pray mark,) as quick as light 
          Danc'd through the flood, 
But, th'last more heavy than the night 
      Nail'd to the center stood; 
      I wonder'd much, but tir'd 
    At last with thought, 
My restless eye that still desir'd 
      As strange an object brought;


It was a bank of flowers, where I descried 
    (Though 'twas mid'day,) 
Some fast asleep, others broad-eyed 
      And taking in the ray, 
      Here musing long, I heard 
     A rushing wind 
Which still increas'd, but whence it stirr'd 
      No where I could not find;


I turn'd me round, and to each shade 
    Dispatch'd 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!  

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