Henry Vaughn (1621–1695)
Whatever ’tis, whose beauty here below
Attracts thee thus and makes thee stream and flow,
And wind and curl, and wink and smile,
Shifting thy gate and guile;
Though thy close commerce nought at all imbars
My present search, for eagles eye not stars,
And still the lesser by the best
And highest good is blest;
Yet, seeing all things that subsist and be,
Have their commissions from divinity,
And teach us duty, I will see
What man may learn from thee.
First, I am sure, the subject so respected
Is well dispos’d, for bodies once infected,
Deprav’d, or dead, can have with thee
No hold, nor sympathy.
Next, there’s in it a restless, pure desire
And longing for thy bright and vital fire,
Desire that never will be quench’d,
Nor can be writh’d, nor wrench’d.
These are the magnets which so strongly move
And work all night upon thy light and love,
As beauteous shapes, we know not why,
Command and guide the eye.
For where desire, celestial, pure desire
Hath taken root, and grows, and doth not tire,
There God a commerce states, and sheds
His secret on their heads.
This is the heart he craves, and who so will
But give it him, and grudge not, he shall feel
That God is true, as herbs unseen
Put on their youth and green.
Ordained Servant Online, August–September 2019.