The Morning Watch

by Herbert Vaughan

O joys! infinite sweetness! with what flow'rs
And shoots of glory my soul breaks and buds!
All the long houres
Of night, and Rest,
Through the still shrouds
Of sleep, and Clouds,
This dew fell on my breast;
Oh, how it blouds
And spirits all my earth! Heark! In what rings
And hymning circulations the quick world
Awakes and sings;
The rising winds
And falling springs,
Birds, beasts, all things
Adore him in their kinds.
Thus all is hurl'd
In sacred hymns and order, the great Chime
And symphony of nature. Prayer is
The world in tune,
A spirit voyce,
And vocal joys
Whose echo is heav'n's bliss.
O let me climb
When I lie down! The pious soul by night
Is like a clouded star whose beams, though said
To shed their light
Under some cloud,
Yet are above,
And shine and move
Beyond that misty shroud.
So in my bed,
That Curtain'd grave, though sleep, like ashes, hide
My lamp and life, both shall in thee abide.

 

 

Title:

Morning Watch, The

Poet:

Vaughan, Herbert

Year of Publication:

1650

Age Appropriate:

15+

Notes:

Prayer

Category:

Religion

Type:

Lyric

Rhyme:

abac;bbcb

Literary Period:

Metaphysical

Things to Discuss:

Dr. Johnson wrote that “should not leave the reader as it found him”. Would this and other metaphysical poems qualify for this quality?

About the Poem:

Like much of Vaughan’s poems; lacking in form and regularity of rhythmic pattern. Its chief characteristic is the number of similes offered.

About the Poet:

Dr. Johnson in Lives of Poets writes “some human experiences will bear no elaboration” thus defending the simplicity of metaphysical poetry. We close with Vaughan’s humble expression “I saw Eternity the other night.”