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Death. A Dialogue

Henry Vaughan 1621 (Brecknockshire) – 1695



Soul.

'TIS a sad Land, that in one day
Hath dull'd thee thus ; when death shall freeze
Thy blood to ice, and thou must stay
Tenant for years, and centuries ;
How wilt thou brook't ?

Body.

I cannot tell ;
But if all sense wings not with thee,
And something still be left the dead,
I'll wish my curtains off, to free
Me from so dark and sad a bed :

A nest of nights, a gloomy sphere,
Where shadows thicken, and the cloud
Sits on the sun's brow all the year,
And nothing moves without a shroud.

Soul.

'Tis so : but as thou saw'st that night
We travail'd in, our first attempts
Were dull and blind, but custom straight
Our fears and falls brought to contempt :

Then, when the ghastly twelve was past,
We breath'd still for a blushing East,
And bade the lazy sun make haste,
And on sure hopes, though long, did feast.

But when we saw the clouds to crack,
And in those crannies light appear'd,
We thought the day then was not slack,
And pleas'd ourselves with what we fear'd.

Just so it is in death. But thou
Shalt in thy mother's bosom sleep,
Whilst I each minute groan to know
How near Redemption creeps.

Then shall wee meet to mix again, and met,
'Tis last good-night ; our Sun shall never set.

JOB, CAP. IO. VER. 21, 22.

Before I go whence I shall not return, even to the
land of darkness, and the shadow of death ;
A Land of darkness, as darkness itself, and of the
shadow of death, without any order, and where the
light is as darkness.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:25 min read
119

Quick analysis:

Scheme ABABC XCDCD EFEF XXXX XGXG HIHI XXXX JJ X KXKKX
Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 1,438
Words 274
Stanzas 10
Stanza Lengths 5, 5, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 2, 1, 5

Henry Vaughan

Henry Vaughan was a Welsh author, physician and metaphysical poet. Vaughan and his twin brother, the hermetic philosopher and alchemist Thomas Vaughan, were the sons of Thomas Vaughan and his wife Denise of 'Trenewydd', Newton, in Brecknockshire, Wales. Their grandfather, William, was the owner of Tretower Court. Vaughan spent most of his life in the village of Llansantffraed, near Brecon, where he is also buried. more…

All Henry Vaughan poems | Henry Vaughan Books

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