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The Night


Through that pure Virgin-shine,
That sacred veil drawn o'er thy glorious noon
That men might look and live as Glow-worms shine,
And face the Moon:
Wise Nicodemus saw such light
As made him know his God by night.

Were all my loud, evil days
Calm and unhaunted as is thy dark Tent,
Whose peace but by some Angel's wing or voice
Is seldom rent;
Then I in Heaven all the long year
Would keep, and never wander here.

But living where the Sun
Doth all things wake, and where all mix and tyre
Themselves and others, I consent and run
To ev'ry myre,
And by this world's ill-guiding light,
Erre more than I can do by night.

There is in God (some say)
A deep, but dazzling darkness; as men here
Say it is late and dusky, because they
See not all clear;
O for that night! where I in him
Might live invisible and dim.

Henry Vaughan, 1621-1695

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