AWAKE, glad heart ! Get up, and sing !
It is the birthday of thy King.
Awake ! awake !
The sun doth shake
Light from his locks, and all the way
Breathing perfumes, doth spice the day.
Awake, awake ! hark how th’ wood rings,
Winds whisper, and the busy springs
A consort make ;
Awake ! awake !
Man is their high-priest, and should rise
To offer up the sacrifice.
I would I were some bird, or star,
Flutt’ring in woods, or lifted far
Above this inn
And road of sin !
Then either star, or bird, should be
Shining, or singing still, to Thee.
I would I had in my best part
Fit rooms for Thee ! or that my heart
Were so clean as
Thy manger was !
But I am all filth, and obscene ;
Yet if Thou wilt, Thou canst make clean.
Sweet Jesu ! will then ; let no more
This leper haunt, and soil Thy door !
Cure him, ease him,
O release him !
And let once more, by mystic birth,
The Lord of life be borne in Earth.
How kind is Heav’n to man ! If here
One sinner doth amend,
Straight there is joy, and ev’ry sphere
In music doth contend ;
And shall we then no voices lift ?
Are mercy, and salvation
Not worth our thanks ? Is life a gift
Of no more acceptation ?
Shall He that did come down from thence,
And here for us was slain,
Shall He be now cast off ? no sense
Of all His woes remain ?
Can neither love, nor suff’rings bind ?
Are we all stone, and earth ?
Neither His bloody passions mind,
Nor one day bless His birth ?
Alas, my God ! Thy birth now here
Must not be number’d in the year.
Vaughan, Henry. The Poems of Henry Vaughan, Silurist. vol I.
E. K. Chambers, Ed. London, Lawrence & Bullen Ltd., 1896.