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Silex Scintillans
As Time One Day By Me Did Pass

by Henry Vaughan

As Time one day by me did pass, 
             Through a large dusky glass 
             He held, I chanc'd to look, 
             And spied his curious book 
Of past days, where sad Heav'n did shed 
A mourning light upon the dead. 

Many disorder'd lives I saw, 
             And foul records, which thaw 
             My kind eyes still, but in 
             A fair, white page of thin 
And ev'n, smooth lines, like the sun's rays, 
Thy name was writ, and all thy days. 

O bright and happy kalendar! 
             Where youth shines like a star 
             All pearl'd with tears, and may 
             Teach age the holy way; 
Where through thick pangs, high agonies, 
Faith into life breaks, and Death dies. 

As some meek night-piece which day quails, 
             To candle-light unveils: 
             So by one beamy line 
             From thy bright lamp, did shine 
In the same page thy humble grave, 
Set with green herbs, glad hopes and brave. 

Here slept my thought's dear mark!  which dust 
             Seem'd to devour, like rust; 
             But dust I did observe 
             By hiding doth preserve; 
As we for long and sure recruits, 
Candy with sugar our choice fruits. 

O calm and sacred bed, where lies 
             In death's dark mysteries 
             A beauty far more bright 
             Than the noon's cloudless light; 
For whose dry dust green branches bud, 
And robes are bleach'd in the Lamb's blood. 

Sleep, happy ashes! blessed sleep! 
             While hapless I still weep; 
             Weep that I have outliv'd 
             My life, and unreliev'd 
Must soullesse shadow! so live on, 
Though life be dead, and my joys gone. 
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