The Evening-Watch: A Dialogue

By Henry Vaughan 1621–1695 Henry Vaughan
               BODY

       Farewell! I go to sleep; but when
       The day-star springs, I’ll wake again.

               SOUL

       Go, sleep in peace; and when thou liest
Unnumber’d in thy dust, when all this frame
Is but one dram, and what thou now descriest
       In sev’ral parts shall want a name,
Then may his peace be with thee, and each dust
Writ in his book, who ne’er betray’d man’s trust!

               BODY

       Amen! but hark, ere we two stray
       How many hours dost think ’till day?

               SOUL

       Ah go; th’art weak, and sleepy. Heav’n
Is a plain watch, and without figures winds
All ages up; who drew this circle, even
       He fills it; days and hours are blinds.
Yet this take with thee. The last gasp of time
Is thy first breath, and man’s eternal prime.

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Poet Henry Vaughan 1621–1695

POET’S REGION Wales

SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

Subjects Stars, Planets, Heavens, Living, The Body, Time & Brevity, Nature, Arts & Sciences, Philosophy

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

Biography

Henry Vaughan, the major Welsh poet of the Commonwealth period, has been among the writers benefiting most from the twentieth-century revival of interest in the poetry of John Donne and his followers. Vaughan's early poems, notably those published in the Poems of 1646 and Olor Iscanus of 1651, place him among the "Sons of Ben," in the company of other imitators of Ben Jonson, such as the Cavalier poets Sir William Davenant and

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Stars, Planets, Heavens, Living, The Body, Time & Brevity, Nature, Arts & Sciences, Philosophy

POET’S REGION Wales

SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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