Unprofitableness

by Henry Vaughan


Original Language English

How rich, O Lord, how fresh Thy visits are!
'Twas but just now my bleak leaves hopeless hung,
     Sullied with dust and mud;
Each snarling blast shot through me, and did share
Their youth and beauty; cold showers nipt, and wrung
     Their spiciness and blood;
But since Thou didst in one sweet glance survey
Their sad decays, I flourish, and once more
     Breathe all perfumes and spice;
I smell a dew like myrrh, and all the day
Wear in my bosom a full sun; such store
     Hath one beam from Thy eyes.
But, ah, my God! what fruit hast Thou of this
What one poor leaf did ever I yet fall
     To wait upon Thy wreath?
Thus Thou all day a thankless weed dost dress,
And when Th' hast done, a stench, or fog is all
     The odour I bequeath.

-- from Henry Vaughan: The Complete Poems, by Henry Vaughan

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Recommended Books: Henry Vaughan

The Oxford Book of Mystical Verse Henry Vaughan: The Complete Poems Metaphysical Poetry: (Penguin Classics) Henry Vaughan: Selected Writings Henry Vaughan: Oxford Poetry Library
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Unprofitableness