W. Garrett Horder, comp. The Poets’ Bible: New Testament. 1895.
The NightHenry Vaughan (16211695)
That sacred veil drawn o’er thy glorious noon,
That men might look and live, as glow-worms shine,
And face the moon,
Wise Nicodemus saw such light
As made him know his God by night.
Who in that land of darkness and blind eyes,
Thy long expected healing wings could see,
When thou didst rise;
And, what can never more be done,
Did at midnight speak with the Sun!
He found thee at that dead and silent hour?
What hallow’d solitary ground did bear
So rare a flower;
Within whose sacred leaves did lie
The fulness of the Deity?
No dead and dusty cherub, nor carved stone,
But his own living works, did my Lord hold
And lodge alone;
Where trees and herbs did watch and peep
And wonder, while the Jews did sleep.
The stop to busy fools; care’s check and curb;
The day of spirits; my soul’s calm retreat
Which none disturb!
Christ’s progress and his prayer-time;
The hours to which high Heaven doth chime.
When my Lord’s head is filled with dew, and all
His locks are wet with the clear drops of night;
His still, soft call;
His knocking time; the soul’s dumb watch,
When spirits their fair kindred catch.
Calm and unhaunted as is thy dark tent,
Whose peace but by some Angel’s wing or voice
Is seldom rent;
Then I in Heaven all the long year
Would keep, and never wander here.
Doth all things wake, and where all mix and tyre
Themselves and others, I consent and run
To ev’ry myre;
And by this world’s ill-guiding light,
Erre more than I can do by night.
A deep, but dazzling darkness; as men here
Say it is late and dusky, because they
See not all clear.
Oh for that night! where I in Him
Might live invisible and dim!