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How I love, at liberty,

By turns to come and visit ye?

Dear Solitude, the soul's best friend,
That man acquainted with himself dost make,
And all his Maker's wonders to intend,

With thee I here converse at will,

And would be glad to do so still, For it is thou alone that keep'st the soul awake.

How calm and quiet a delight

Is it, alone,

To read, and meditate, and write,

By none offended, and offending none ! To walk, ride, sit, or sleep at one's own ease, And, pleasing a man's self, none other to displease.

O my beloved nymph, fair Dove,
Princess of rivers, how I love

Upon thy flowery banks to lie,
And view thy silver stream,
When gilded by a summer's beam!
And in it all thy wanton fry,
Playing at liberty;

And with my angle, upon them

The all of treachery

I ever learn'd, industriously to try!

Such streams Rome's yellow Tiber cannot show;

The Iberian Tagus, or Ligurian Po,

The Maese, the Danube, and the Rhine,

Are puddle water all compared with thine!

And Loire's pure streams yet too polluted are

With thine much purer to compare;

The rapid Garonne and the winding Seine

Are both too mean,

Belovèd Dove, with thee

To vie priority;

Nay, Thame and Isis, when conjoin'd, submit,
And lay their trophies at thy silver feet.

O my beloved rocks, that rise

To awe the earth and brave the skies,
From some aspiring mountain's crown,
How dearly do I love,

Giddy with pleasure, to look down;

And, from the vales, to view the noble heights above!

O my beloved caves! from dog-star's heat.

And all anxieties, my safe retreat ;

What safety, privacy, what true delight,

In the artificial night,

Your gloomy entrails make,

Have I taken, do I take!

How oft, when grief has made me fly,

To hide me from society,

Een of my dearest friends, have I,

In your recesses' friendly shade,

All my sorrows open laid,

And my most secret woes intrusted to your privacy!

Lord! would men let me alone,

What an over-happy one

Should I think myself to be;

Might I in this desert place

(Which most men in discourse disgrace) Live but undisturbed and free!

Here, in this despised recess,

Would I, maugre winter's cold,
And the summer's worst excess,
Try to live out to sixty full years old;
And, all the while,

Without an envious eye

On any thriving under Fortune's smile, Contented live, and then contented die.

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[HENRY VAUGHAN was born at Newton, in Brecknockshire, in 1614. He studied at Oxford, and first became a lawyer, then a physician : but in neither capacity does he seem to have obtained a competency. In the latter part of his life, he became very serious and devout. He died in 1695.

Vaughan's poetry exhibits great strength and originality of thought, and abounds in imagery; but his ideas are gloomy and sectarian, and his rhymes are not pleasing.]

WHEN first thy eyes unveil, give thy soul leave

To do the like; our bodies but forerun

The spirit's duty true hearts spread and leave

Unto their God, as flowers do to the sun :

Give Him thy first thoughts then, so shalt thou keep

Him company all day, and in Him sleep.

Yet never sleep the sun up; prayer should
Dawn with the day: there are set awful hours
'Twixt heaven and us; the manna was not good
After sun-rising; far day sullies flowers:

Rise to prevent the sun; sleep doth sins glut,
And heaven's gate opens when the world's is shut.
Walk with thy fellow-creatures; note the hush
And whisperings amongst them. Not a spring

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Or leaf but hath his morning hymn; each bush And oak doth know I AM. Canst thou not sing?


O leave thy cares and follies! Go this way,
And thou art sure to prosper all the day.
Serve God before the world; let Him not go
Until thou hast a blessing; then resign

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