They are all Gone into the World of Light

Original Text: 
Henry Vaughan, Silex Scintillans (1655).
1They are all gone into the world of light!
2     And I alone sit ling'ring here;
3Their very memory is fair and bright,
6     Like stars upon some gloomy grove,
7Or those faint beams in which this hill is drest,
8     After the sun's remove.
9I see them walking in an air of glory,
10     Whose light doth trample on my days:
11My days, which are at best but dull and hoary,
12     Mere glimmering and decays.
13O holy Hope! and high Humility,
14     High as the heavens above!
15These are your walks, and you have show'd them me
16     To kindle my cold love.
17Dear, beauteous Death! the jewel of the just,
18     Shining nowhere, but in the dark;
19What mysteries do lie beyond thy dust
20     Could man outlook that mark!
21He that hath found some fledg'd bird's nest, may know
22     At first sight, if the bird be flown;
24     That is to him unknown.
25And yet as angels in some brighter dreams
26     Call to the soul, when man doth sleep:
27So some strange thoughts transcend our wonted themes
28     And into glory peep.
29If a star were confin'd into a tomb,
30     Her captive flames must needs burn there;
31But when the hand that lock'd her up, gives room,
32     She'll shine through all the sphere.
33O Father of eternal life, and all
34     Created glories under thee!
36     Into true liberty.
37Either disperse these mists, which blot and fill
39Or else remove me hence unto that hill,
40     Where I shall need no glass.


4] clear: brighten. Back to Line
5] It: their memory. Back to Line
23] well: spring, pool. Back to Line
35] Resume: take back. Back to Line
38] perspective: telescope. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
N. J. Endicott
RPO Edition: 
3RP 1.372-73.