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Poem by Henry Vaughan

The Bird

Hither thou com'st: the busy wind all night
Blew through thy lodging, where thy own warm wing
Thy pillow was. Many a sullen storm
(For which coarse man seems much the fitter born)
Rained on thy bed
And harmless head.

And now, as fresh and cheerful as the light,
Thy little heart in early hymns doth sing
Unto that Providence, whose unseen arm
Curbed them, and clothed thee well and warm.
All things that be, praise Him, and had
Their lesson taught them when first made.

So hills and valleys into singing break;
And though poor stones have neither speech nor tongue,
While active winds and streams both run and speak,
Yet stones are deep in admiration.
Thus praise and prayer here beneath the sun
Make lesser mornings, when the great are done.

For each inclosed spirit is a star
Enlight'ning his own little sphere,
Whose light, though fetched and borrowed from far,
Both mornings makes and evenings there.

But as these birds of light make a land glad,
Chirping their solemn matins on each tree,
So in the shades of night some dark fowls be,
Whose heavy notes make all that hear them sad.

The turtle then in palm trees mourns,
While owls and satyrs howl:
The pleasant land to brimstone turns,
And all her streams grow foul.

Brightness and mirth, and love and faith, all fly,
Till the day-spring breaks forth again from high. 

Henry Vaughan

Henry Vaughan's other poems:
  1. The Relapse
  2. The True Christians
  3. Joy of My Life While Left Me Here!
  4. Upon The Priory Grove, His Usual Retirement
  5. Son-Days

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