Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE AGREEMENT, by HENRY VAUGHAN



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE AGREEMENT, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I wrote it down. But one that saw
Last Line: Bless thee, and blame unthankful man.
Alternate Author Name(s): Silurist


I wrote it down. But one that saw
And envied that record, did since
Such a mist over my mind draw,
It quite forgot that purposed glimpse.
I read it sadly oft, but still
Simply believed, 'twas not my quill;

At length, my life's kind angel came,
And with his bright and busy wing
Scatt'ring that cloud, showed me the flame
Which straight, like morning-stars did sing,
And shine, and point me to a place,
Which all the year sees the Sun's face.

O beamy book! O my mid-day
Exterminating fears and night!
The mount, whose white ascendents may
Be in conjunction with true light!
My thoughts, when towards thee they move,
Glitter and kindle with thy love.

Thou art the oil and the wine-house:
Thine are the present healing leaves,
Blown from the tree of life to us
By his breath whom my dead heart heaves.
Each page of thine hath true life in't,
And God's bright mind expressed in print.

Most modern books are blots on thee,
Their doctrine chaff and windy fits:
Darkened along, as their scribes be,
With those foul storms, when they were writ;
While the man's zeal lays out and blends
Only self-worship and self-ends.

Thou art the faithful, pearly rock,
The hive of beamy, living lights,
Ever the same, whose diffused stock
Entire still, wears out blackest nights.
Thy lines are rays, the true Sun sheds;
Thy leaves are healing wings he spreads.

For until thou didst comfort me,
I had not one poor word to say:
Thick busy clouds did multiply,
And said, I was no child of day;
They said, my own hands did remove
That candle given me from above.

O God! I know and do confess
My sins are great and still prevail,
Most heinous sins and numberless!
But thy compassions cannot fail.
If thy sure mercies can be broken,
Then all is true, my foes have spoken.

But while time runs, and after it
Eternity, which never ends,
Quite through them both, still infinite
Thy Covenant by Christ extends;
No sins of frailty, nor of youth
Can foil his merits, and thy truth.

And this I hourly find, for thou
Dost still renew, and purge and heal:
Thy care and love, which jointly flow
New cordials, new cathartics deal.
But were I once cast off by thee
I know (my God!) this would not be.

Wherefore with tears (tears by thee sent)
I beg, my faith may never fail!
And when in death my speech is spent,
O let that silence then prevail!
O chase in that cold calm my foes,
And hear my heart's last private throes!

So thou, who didst the work begin
(For I till drawn came not to thee)
Wilt finish it, and by no sin
Will thy free mercies hindered be.
For which, O God, I only can
Bless thee, and blame unthankful man.





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