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Welsh physician, poet and mystic
(1622 - 1695)

Affliction is a mother,
  Whose painful throes yield many sons,
    Each fairer than the other.
      - [Sorrow]

As great a store
  Have we of books as bees of herbs or more.
      - [Libraries]

Bright shadows of true rest! some shoots of bliss;
  Heaven once a week;
    The next world's gladness prepossest in this;
      A day to seek;
        Eternity in time; the steps by which
          We climb above all ages: lamps that light
            Man through his heap of dark days; and the rich
              And full redemption of the whole week's flight.
      - [Sabbath]

Dear beauteous death, the jewel of the just.
      - [Death]

Mornings are mysteries; the first world's youth,
  Man's resurrection, and the future's bud
    Shroud in their births.
      - [Morning]

Some syllables are swords.
      - [Words]

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.
      - [Praise]

Thou can'st not die. Here thou art more than safe
  Where every book is thy epitaph.
      - on Sir Thomas Bodley's library [Libraries]

'Twas so; I saw thy birth. That drowsy lake
  From her faint bosom breath'd thee, the disease
    Of her sick waters, and infectious ease.
      But now at even,
        Too gross for heaven,
          Thou fall'st in tears, and weep'st for thy mistake.
      - [Rain]

When first thy eyes unveil, give thy soul leave
  To do the like; our bodies but forerun
    The spirit's duty. True hearts spread and heave
      Unto their God, as flow'rs do to the sun.
        Give him thy first thoughts then; so shalt thou keep
          Him company all day, and in him sleep.
      - [Prayer]

When thou dost shine, darkness looks white and fair,
  Forms turn to music, clouds to smiles and air;
    Rain gently spends his honey-drops, and pours
      Balm on the cleft earth, milk on grass and flowers.
        Bright pledge of peace and sunshine!
      - [Rainbows]

And yet, as angels in some brighter dreams
  Call to the soul when man doth sleep,
    So some strange thoughts transcend our wonted themes,
      And into glory peep.
      - Ascension Hymn (They are all gone into the World of Light)
         (st. 7) [Dreams : Thought]

The sun doth shake
  Light from his locks, and, all the way
    Breathing perfumes, doth spice the day.
      - Christ's Nativity [Christmas]

Yet never sleep the sun up. Prayer shou'd
  Dawn with the day. There are set, awful hours
    'Twixt heaven and us. The manna was not good
      After sun-rising; far day sullies flowres.
        Rise to prevent the sun; sleep doth sin glut,
          And heaven's gate opens when the world's is shut.
      - Rules and Lessons (st. 2) [Sleep]

Prayer is
  The world in tune,
    A spirit-voyce
      And vocall joyes,
        Whose Eccho is heaven's blisse.
      - The Morning Watch [Prayer]

Bright pledge of peace and sunshine! the sure tie
  Of thy Lord's hand, the object of His eye!
    When I behold thee, though my light be dim,
      Distinct, and low, I can in thine see Him
        Who looks upon thee from His glorious throne,
          And minds the covenant between all and One.
      - The Rainbow [Rainbows]

But felt through all this fleshly dresse
  Bright shootes of everlastingnesse.
      - The Retreate [Immortality]

Then bless thy secret growth, nor catch
  At noise, but thrive unseen and dumb;
    Keep clean, be as fruit, earn life, and watch,
      Till the white-wing'd reapers come.
      - The Seed Growing Secretly
        [Cleanliness : Growth]

Sure thou did'st flourish once! and many springs,
  Many bright mornings, much dew, many showers,
    Passed o'er thy head; many light hearts and wings,
      Which now are dead, lodg'd in thy living bowers.
        And still a new succession sings and flies;
          Fresh groves grow up, and their green branches shoot
            Towards the old and still-enduring skies;
              While the low violet thrives at their root.
      - The Timber [Trees]

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