Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, RELIGION, by HENRY VAUGHAN



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RELIGION, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: My god, when I walk in those groves
Last Line: And turn once more our water into wine!
Alternate Author Name(s): Silurist
Subject(s): Christianity; Miracles


My God, when I walke in those groves,
And leaves thy spirit doth still fan,
I see in each shade that there growes
An Angell taking with a man.
Under a Juniper, some house,
Or the coole Mirtles canopie,
Others beneath an Oakes greene boughs,
Or at some fountaines bubbling Eye;
Here Jacob dreames, and wrestles; there
Elias by a Raven is fed,
Another time by th' Angell, where
He brings him water with his bread;
In Abr'hams Tent the winged guests
(O how familiar then was heaven!)
Eate, drinke, discourse, sit downe, and rest
Untill the Coole, and shady Even;
Nay thou thy selfe, my God, in fire,
Whirle-winds, and Clouds, and the soft voice
Speak'st there so much, that I admire
We have no Conf'rence in these daies;
Is the truce broke? or 'cause we have
A mediatour now with thee,
Doest thou therefore old Treaties wave
And by appeales from him decree?
Or is't so, as some green heads say
That now all miracles must cease?
Though thou hast promis'd they should stay
The tokens of the Church, and peace;
No, no; Religion is a Spring
That from some secret, golden Mine
Derives her birth, and thence doth bring
Cordials in every drop, and Wine;
But in her long, and hidden Course
Passing through the Earths darke veines,
Growes still from better unto worse,
And both her taste, and colour staines,
Then drilling on, learnes to encrease
False Ecchoes, and Confused sounds,
And unawares doth often seize
On veines of Sulphur under ground;
So poison'd, breaks forth in some Clime,
And at first sight doth many please,
But drunk, is puddle, or mere slime
And 'stead of Phisick, a disease;
Just such a tainted sink we have
Like that Samaritans dead Well,
Nor must we for the Kernell crave
Because most voices like the shell.
Heale then these waters, Lord; or bring thy flock,
Since these are troubled, to the springing rock,
Looke downe great Master of the feast; O shine,
And turn once more our Water into Wine!






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