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‘They Are All Gone into the World of Light’: A Poem by Henry Vaughan

The Welsh metaphysical poet Henry Vaughan (1621-95) is best known for his 1650 collection, Silex Scintillans (‘Sparks from the Flint’), which established him as one of the great devotional poets in English literature. ‘They Are All Gone into the World of Light’ is about death, God, and the afterlife, and the poet’s desire to pass over into the next life – the ‘World of Light’ – to join those whom he has lost.

They Are All Gone into the World of Light

They are all gone into the world of light!
And I alone sit ling’ring here;
Their very memory is fair and bright,
And my sad thoughts doth clear.

It glows and glitters in my cloudy breast,
Like stars upon some gloomy grove, Read the rest of this entry

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‘The Waterfall’: A Poem by Henry Vaughan

There’s something about the seventeenth-century poet Henry Vaughan (1621-95) which smacks more of the later Romantic movement than of the metaphysical ‘school’ to which he belonged. This poem, describing the natural beauty of the waterfall, is a fine demonstration of how Vaughan anticipated Romanticism by over a century.

The Waterfall

With what deep murmurs through time’s silent stealth
Doth thy transparent, cool, and wat’ry wealth
Here flowing fall,
And chide, and call,
As if his liquid, loose retinue stay’d
Ling’ring, and were of this steep place afraid; Read the rest of this entry

A Very Short Biography of Henry Vaughan

The interesting life of Henry Vaughan

Henry Vaughan is associated with the seventeenth-century Metaphysical Poets, but his name is not as famous or familiar as, say, Andrew Marvell or John Donne. In this post we offer a very short biography of Henry Vaughan, providing a brief introduction to his life and work – focusing on the most interesting aspects of Vaughan’s life.

Henry Vaughan was, like his great mentor George Herbert, Welsh in origin. Born in Newton-upon-Usk in 1621, Vaughan was one of twins (his brother Thomas became an alchemist and would later die from the effects of mercury poisoning in 1666). Read the rest of this entry