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The Star

Henry Vaughan 1621 (Brecknockshire) – 1695



1 Whatever 'tis, whose beauty here below
2 Attracts thee thus and makes thee stream and flow,
3 And wind and curl, and wink and smile,
4 Shifting thy gate and guile;

5 Though thy close commerce nought at all imbars
6 My present search, for eagles eye not stars,
7 And still the lesser by the best
8 And highest good is blest;

9 Yet, seeing all things that subsist and be,
10 Have their commissions from divinity,
11 And teach us duty, I will see
12 What man may learn from thee.

13 First, I am sure, the subject so respected
14 Is well dispos'd, for bodies once infected,
15 Deprav'd, or dead, can have with thee
16 No hold, nor sympathy.

17 Next, there's in it a restless, pure desire
18 And longing for thy bright and vital fire,
19 Desire that never will be quench'd,
20 Nor can be writh'd, nor wrench'd.

21 These are the magnets which so strongly move
22 And work all night upon thy light and love,
23 As beauteous shapes, we know not why,
24 Command and guide the eye.

25 For where desire, celestial, pure desire
26 Hath taken root, and grows, and doth not tire,
27 There God a commerce states, and sheds
28 His secret on their heads.

29 This is the heart he craves, and who so will
30 But give it him, and grudge not, he shall feel
31 That God is true, as herbs unseen
32 Put on their youth and green.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:19 min read
55

Quick analysis:

Scheme AABB CCDD EECE XXEE FFDX XXGG FFCC XXHH
Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 1,462
Words 259
Stanzas 8
Stanza Lengths 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4

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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    "The Star" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 3 Feb. 2023. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/18459/the-star>.

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