Incised in stone above the west door of the little Gothic church at Staunton Harold, Leicestershire, is the following inscription:
In the yeare 1653
When all things Sacred were throughout ye nation
Either demolisht or profaned
Sir Robert Shirley, Barronet,
Founded this church;
Whose singular praise it is,
To have done the best things in ye worst times,
Hoped them in the most callamitous
The righteous shall be had in everlasting remembrance.
We are told that Sir Robert Shirley, a Royalist, had refused to assist Cromwell. He was sent to the Tower and died there, aged twenty-seven. These were strife-torn times. The Civil War had ended in victory for the Parliamentarian cause in 1646 and the Monarchy did not return until 1660. It was during those same strife-torn times that Henry Vaughan ‘The Silurist’ wrote his most memorable poetry and it might be said of him, also, that he ‘done the best things in the worst times’. Vaughan, a Welshman, was born in Breconshire at Newton-upon-Usk in 1621 and died in 1695, not far from his birthplace. The Civil War was to have a very important influence on both the man and his poetry.
Today, Vaughan is chiefly remembered as one of the so-called ‘metaphysical poets’ of the 17th C. The other important members of the group are Donne, Crashaw, Cowley, Herbert, Marvell, and Traherne. The term ‘metaphysical’ seems to have been invented by John Dryden but was made famous by Dr Johnson who first used it to describe a type of poetry employing unusual and paradoxical images, relying on intellectual wit and upon learned imagery and subtle argument. For Johnson, it was meant as a pejorative term:
Their thoughts are often new, but seldom natural; they are not obvious, but neither are they just; and the reader, far from wondering that he missed them, wonders more frequently by what perverseness of industry they were ever found. [Lives of the Poets: Cowley]
Such a judgement from an 18th C critic is hardly surprising. In an age that placed all of its hope on human reason and Baconian science, the highly imaginative poetry of the preceding century was largely dismissed as a ‘conceit’. Indeed, even in Henry Vaughan’s own times, allegorical habits of mind were being replaced by more realistic ones (Bacon published his Novum Organum the year before Henry Vaughan was born) and, in this sense, Vaughan’s poetry looks back towards the Middle Ages rather than to his own times. Fortunately both literary tastes and philosophical opinions were to change again in later times. In the early 20th.C, both Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot were to discover deep affinities with the ’metaphysicals’ and today, their poetry is well represented in most anthologies of English verse. In was in his essay on the metaphysical poets  that Eliot made his now famous suggestion of a ‘dissociation of sensibility’ that marked the end of what we might call the metaphysical style. The basis of this style, Eliot thought, was the poet’s ability to constantly amalgamate disparate experiences to form new wholes. The metaphysical poet ‘possessed a mechanism of sensibility which could devour any kind of experience’. It is with Milton and Dryden – those giants of the 17th Century – Eliot suggests, that we see this ‘dissociation of sensibility’ come to the fore and to manifest itself in the work of later poets such as Collins, Gray, Goldsmith and the great Dr Johnson himself. The language of these poets may have become more refined, but (so Eliot thought) the feeling had become more crude.
As so it was that, after more than two centuries of virtual obscurity, the poetry of Henry Vaughan came to be valued again. Between 1679 and 1847, there was no new edition of Vaughan although one of his poems had been anthologized as early as 1803. But, if influential modern critics like Eliot and Pound had some hand in restoring the fortunes of the ‘metaphysicals’, so much more so did the Zeitgeist – by the time Eliot died (1965) the bankruptcy of positivism was clearly in evidence. Given that Edmund Blunden had written on Vaughan in 1927 and Siegfried Sassoon had visited Vaughan’s grave and penned a sonnet on that visit in 1928, we might regard these poets as early prophets who, in the wake of the Great War, perhaps foresaw a re-emergence of interest in the imaginative and allegorical as a sort of counter reaction to the Slough of Despond which had developed out of the hell of Flanders. One might see the emergence of a wider and more general interest in Blake’s poetry in the same light, although W.B.Yeats and Edwin Ellis first edited Blake’s work in 1891-3.
Insofar as the poet himself is concerned, as distinct from the poetry, we owe the resurrection of Henry Vaughan in large part to two grand ladies of literary leanings, the Misses Louise Guiney and Gwenllian Morgan. Miss Morgan was a ‘local’, so to speak, and lived most of her long life in Breconshire, dying there in 1939 in her 88th year. The daughter of a local pastor, she was a keen historian and intensely interested in Vaughan. She was also the first woman in Wales to serve the office of mayor. Miss Guiney, by contrast, was an American Catholic, with no close connection to Wales. She was, nonetheless, an ardent Anglophile, with a particular love for the Royalist poets and a sympathy for the Royalist cause. Morgan and Guiney gathered together what scant information we have today concerning the life of Henry Vaughan. Unfortunately, both these ladies died before they were able to publish their biography of Vaughan. That task was taken up by F.E. Hutchinson, an Anglican Divine and onetime chaplain of Kings College, who published his account (heavily reliant on Morgan & Guiney’s researches) in 1947. One other biography has appeared since then, that of Stevie Davies in 1995. Her account, though, introduces no new material and is largely concerned with a personal appreciation of the poet.
It is perhaps something of a blessing that we know relatively little about Vaughan the man for this has largely spared us those usual, weighty volumes where the minutiae of daily life is drawn into interminable discussion regarding ‘influences’ on poetic production. We have no images of him, no descriptions of his personality and only a fairly sketchy record of his time on this earth. Even so, I note that Stevie Davies has a whole chapter (‘The Crucible of Twinship’) where an elaborate superstructure of critical analysis and comment rests on the scant knowledge we have of the relationship between Henry Vaughan and his twin brother, Thomas.
Of Vaughan’s early life we know virtually nothing save that he and his twin brother were taught at a nearby school by one Matthew Herbert, an Anglican clergyman. Later, Henry Vaughan may have attended Oxford University although the records establish only that his twin brother did. Whatever the case, he certainly went to London and seems to have studied law for a period. With the outbreak of the Civil War, he returned home and there, for a short time, was secretary to Sir Marmaduke Lloyd, chief justice of the sessions. We know that Vaughan was married to Catherine Wise by 1646 and that the couple had four children. Catherine appears to have died very young, almost certainly within a decade of the marriage. Vaughan married again, probably around 1655. His second wife, Elizabeth, was his former wife’s sister and she too, bore him four children.
The question whether Henry Vaughan bore arms in the Civil War has been much discussed. Hutchinson is of the view that Henry did take up arms for the Royalists but Vaughan’s first modern editor, H.F. Lyte (1847) took an opposite view. Whatever the truth of the matter, there can be no doubt that the defeat of the Royalists, together with the death of his younger brother, William (in 1648), had a profound effect on Vaughan. This is evidenced by the sudden change in both the nature and the quality of the poetry he wrote.
As to his profession in later adult life, there are indications that he may have been a doctor but little evidence of any training in this field. In a letter to John Aubrey in 1673, Vaughan talks about his brother, Thomas, and then says: ‘My profession also is physic which I have practised now for many years with good success …’. Earlier (1640s), Vaughan was probably employed as a secretary to Judge Lloyd (and soon after, Hutchinson surmises, as a soldier).
With this brief biography serving as a sort of introduction, we turn now to the poetry. His first volume of poetry, Poems with the Tenth Satire of Juvenal Englished, was published in 1646. A second volume, entitled Olor Iscanus (Swan of the Usk) appears to have been completed by 1647, but was not published until 1651. It is in this second volume that Vaughan gives himself the title of ‘Silurist’ – a reference to the ancient tribe, the Silures, which inhabited the south-east of Wales and which was mentioned by Tacitus as having caused the invading Romans a good deal of trouble. I assume that the Silures also gave us the geological term ‘Silurian’.
Of the bulk of these early poems, perhaps the less said the better. They are largely very conventional, secular poems, often imitating earlier poets such as Habington or Randolph. I think it fair to say that if Vaughan’s reputation rested on these alone, he would be largely forgotten today. The first volume includes a number of love poems, almost all of which are addressed to Amoret, a sort of generic title for the female subject. Here, Vaughan follows earlier poets such as Lovelace, Browne, Lodge and Waller. Nonetheless, some of the poetry is memorable. Here, for instance, is a little vignette of the London of Vaughan’s student days:
Should we go now a wandering, we should meet
With catchpoles, whores, & carts in every street:
Now when each narrow lane, each nook & cave,
Sign-posts, & shop-doors, pimp for every knave,
When riotous sinful plush, and tell-tale spurs
Walk Fleet street, & the Strand, when the soft stirs
Of bawdy, ruffled silks, turn night to day;
And the loud whip, and coach scolds all the way;
When lusts of all sorts, and each itchy blood
From the Tower-wharf to Cymbeline, and Lud,
Hunts for a mate, and the tired footman reels
‘Twixt chair-men, torches, & the hackney wheels...
A Rhapsody (lines 35-46)
Here is a picture of the seamier side of London, with that sort of eye for all the sordid detail which we might expect of Hogarth or Dickens. The phrases ‘riotous sinful plush’ and bawdy, ruffled silks’ are particularly well contrived.
The second volume of Vaughan’s poetry is somewhat more adventuresome and treats a wide range of themes. It includes translations of Ovid, Ausonius, Boethius and Casimir. Looking at the index in Alan Rudrum’s splendidly annotated edition of Vaughan’s poems, one cannot help but notice how the lengthy titles, often overweighed with effusive praise of their respective human subjects, contrast with the short, pithy titles of the later religious poetry (and, indeed, many of the religious poems are untitled). Thus we find, for instance:
To the Truly Noble, and Most Excellently Accomplished, the Lord Kildare Digby
An Elegy on the Death of Mr R.W. Slain in the Late Unfortunate Differences at Rowton Heath, near Chester, 1645
One has the impression that the poem has, in each case, occasioned less literary effort than the title! For my own part, when I read these titles I cannot help but compare them to the equally ponderous titles so beloved of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood for their paintings. My second example from Vaughan, for instance, bears comparison with Holman Hunt:
Rienzi Vowing to Obtain Justice for the Death of his Young Brother, Slain in a Skirmish between the Colonna and Orsini Factions.
But, perhaps in Olor Iscanus, we should particularly note Vaughan’s choice in translating Ovid, Ausonius, Boethius and Casimir. If, as some commentators suspect, Vaughan translated his selections in the order given here, then we see a gradual progression towards more serious philosophical and religious themes. Casimir (Mathias Casimir Sarbiewski) was a Polish Jesuit whose poetry often addressed religious themes. We might also expect that, in his reading of Ausonius, Vaughan would have learned of Paulinus of Nola at this time. Later (1654), Vaughan was to publish a rather free translation of the Life of Paulinus (from Rosweyde).
As I foreshadowed earlier in this essay, the events associated with the Civil War, combined with the death of his younger brother were to have a profound effect on Vaughan and his poetry. Other commentators have also suggested that Vaughan himself may have endured some serious illness at about this time and that such illness brought the fact of human mortality sharply into focus. As Dr. Johnson once said, ‘the prospect of being hanged in a fortnight wonderfully concentrates the mind’! Irrespective of which of these influences assumed the most importance in the mind of the poet, what we see in the poems of his 1650 edition, titled Silex Scintillans, is a virtual transformation. Even if Vaughan’s earlier acquaintance with the work of Casimir (and, perhaps, other and earlier Christian writers) is taken into account, there is nothing to prepare the reader for what F.E. Hutchinson calls the ‘heightened feeling and majestic utterance’ that we get in so many of the poems of Silex scintillans.
From the lovesick, young gallant who pens his rather conventional, foppish, and formulaic verses to Amoret, we come to this:
I saw Eternity the other night
Like a great Ring of pure and endless light,
All calm, as it was bright,
And round beneath it, Time in hours, days, years
Driven by the spheres
Like a vast shadow mov’d, In which the world
And all her train were hurl’d.
Hutchinson is in no two minds about what has happened to the poet. He refers to it as a conversion. This, I think, is a little too dramatic. There can be no question regarding the sudden new direction in Vaughan’s poetry, but he was always a believing Christian. He was not converted to Christianity, but simply lifted to a higher plane of spiritual understanding. This is very obvious when one considers the subject matter of his religious poetry. Alan Rudrum’s notes to the Silex Scintillans poems run to well over 100 pages of tight text. The vast majority of the references are biblical ones, some quite obscure, and we can only conclude that Vaughan had a prodigious knowledge of the bible. Such knowledge does not come abruptly with conversion but is the fruit of years and years of reading. The raw materials were surely latent in Vaughan and, as he himself says in his introduction to the first Silex Scintillans volume, what ignited his poetic imagination was the divine flash of the Spirit on a reluctant and hardened heart:
You have attempted many times, I admit, to capture me without injury, and your voice, haunting me, has endeavored without words to make me heedful. A more divine breath has entreated me with its gentle action and admonished me in vain with its holy murmur. I was flint – deaf and silent …….. You draw nearer and break that mass which is my rocky heart, and that which was formerly stone is now made flesh. See how it is torn, its fragments at last setting your heavens alight ……… 
These fiery sparks from the heart constitute the best of Vaughan’s poetry. In poem after poem of the Silex Scintillans collections (1650 and 1655), we have that direct evidence of a man who:
…. felt through all this fleshly dress
Bright shoots of everlastingness.
A few short extracts may serve to give something of the flavour for those who are not familiar with Vaughan’s poetry:
When first I saw true beauty, and thy joys
Active as light, and calm without all noise
Shined on my soul, I felt through all my powers
Such a rich air of sweets, as evening showers
Fanned by a gentle gale convey and breathe
On some parched bank, crowned with a flowery wreath;
Odours, and myrrh, and balm in one rich flood …
(Mount of Olives, II)
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,
Or those faint beams in which this hill is dressed,
After the sun’s remove.
(‘They are all gone into the world of light!’)
My soul, there is a country
Far beyond the stars,
Where stands a winged sentry
All skillful in the wars,
There, above noise, and danger
Sweet peace sits crowned with smiles,
And one born in a manger
Commands the beauteous files …
The themes treated by Vaughan in these poems have been the subject of much scholarly questioning over the last eighty years or so. To what extent was Vaughan influenced by the Hermetic Philosophy? To what extent was he influenced by Platonism? Was Vaughan a true mystic and, if so, did he follow the via negativa or the via positiva? Was Vaughan a true ‘nature poet’ in the sense of being a precursor to the English Romantic poets? Here, I cannot attempt to deal in any detail with all of these ‘problems’ which the critics see in Vaughan’s religious poetry. However, a few general comments might help to resolve some of these supposed difficulties or, at least, put them into some sort of perspective.
In the first place, it is absolutely clear that Henry Vaughan is a Christian traditionalist in his religious outlook. This is not to suppose that he does not bring in ideas from the Platonists and Neoplatonists, or from Hermeticism, but rather, that he assimilates such ideas within a thoroughly traditional, Christian framework. If Vaughan’s Christianity appears a little ‘unorthodox’, it is perhaps because he is a man out of his time – his religion often tends to look back toward what he saw as more primitive but purer expressions of Christianity. We need to remember that the Civil War cast Vaughan adrift from his traditional church environment and he was forced to find his own expression of Christianity. In so doing, he borrowed freely from many traditions, both within pre-Civil War Anglicanism and further afield. The religious poetry of George Herbert, for instance, was to exert an enormous influence upon Vaughan and he freely acknowledges his debt to Herbert in some of his poems.
With regard to Platonic influences, many possible correlates present themselves in the poetry. The first is the theme of childhood. In what is probably Vaughan’s most famous poem, The Retreat, he begins:
Happy those early days! when I
Shined in my Angel-infancy.
Here is the clear notion, not only of childhood innocence, but also of childhood understanding and acceptance of the spiritual realm. This theme appears in many of Vaughan’s poems. It is tempting to suppose that Vaughan alludes to the Platonic notion of anamnesis and pre-existence and, indeed, that may have been an influence upon him. We ought to remember, though, that Vaughan was a man who knew his bible backwards and it is more likely that he had in mind that injunction in Matthew 18.3: ‘Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven (KJV).
Another clear debt to Platonism comes from Vaughan’s notion of a cosmos of spheres or rings with ordered motion and we tend to immediately associate this with Plato. One peculiarity of Vaughan in this respect is his association of ordered motion with silence. Time after time we get that notion of the profound beauty of silence. When he saw eternity (The World, I) it was:
All calm, as it was bright
Of the stars (The Constellation), he says:
Fair, ordered lights (whose motion without noise
Resembles those true joys …
And, perhaps his most beautiful depiction of the Platonic Beauty (Mount of Olives II):
When first I saw true beauty, and thy joys
Active as light, and calm without all noise
There are, of course, other echoes of Platonism or Neo-Platonism in Vaughan’s poetry but, very often, they have come down to him from that earlier Christian tradition drawing upon the Augustinian world-picture. The idea of this world as an imperfect image of the real world leads naturally to the concept of contemptus mundi, implicit in Augustine and so evident in much of Vaughan’s work. Indeed, Vaughan’s translation of the De Contemptu Mundi of St. Eucherius of Lyon (5th C) is, as far as this writer is aware, the only English translation of the work. But it would be wrong to suppose that Vaughan or, for that matter, Augustine, regarded matter as evil or deprecated the created order. Quite the reverse in Vaughan’s case. He saw all plants and animals as responding to the Divine and even lifeless stones paid a sort of tribute to their Maker (‘By some hid sense their Maker gave’).
Vaughan’s association with the Hermetic philosophy is based upon certain direct evidence in the poems themselves as well as the fact that his twin brother, Thomas, delved into alchemy and was well acquainted with the writings attributed to ‘Thrice-Great Hermes’. In his published work, Thomas also quotes from Paracelsus, Robert Fludd and Cornelius Agrippa. Nonetheless, Thomas saw himself as ‘neither Papist nor Sectary but a true, resolute Protestant in the best sense of the Church of England’. Despite these assertions by Thomas, his writings on alchemy do suggest a more erratic and headstrong approach to the subject matter than his brother, Henry who, as Hutchinson says:
passed the Hermetic ideas and terms so integrally into the common language of Christian tradition that they do not disconcert the reader; they are not resented as the technical terms of an unfamiliar way of expressing his conviction of the ‘commerce’ between heaven and earth.
Other authors, though, believe that Hermetic influences are much more important in Henry Vaughan’s work than that assumed by a simple borrowing of Hermetic terms to illustrate or ‘flesh out’ an otherwise conventional, Christian understanding. Miss Elizabeth Holmes devoted a whole book to the subject and it has been discussed by many other commentators. And yet, Vaughan’s supposed Hermeticism is very difficult to pin down. It appears as only scattered references throughout the corpus of his work and, in the end, one tends to agree with Ross Garner who says (of Vaughan’s supposed Hermeticism):
Vaughan does not make out of God a scientific principle, an adjunct of matter by which it may be governed. He takes explanations of the physical universe of which he is aware and uses them parabolically to adumbrate Christian doctrine.
And so, while we may come across references to Hermetic terms such as signatures, rays, beams, sympathies, magnets, and so on, these are terms which Vaughan assimilates effortlessly into his Christianity..
For all that, the words that crop up most frequently in Vaughan’s Silex Scintillans poems are biblical words – shoots, buds, dew, doves, stones, roses, light, to mention but a few of his favourite themes. There can be little doubt that Vaughan’s main source is the bible and that other influences are secondary by comparison. But the word white, so often used by Vaughan as an epithet for that he holds in high regard (e.g. ‘white, celestial thought’ in The Retreat)), is probably not of biblical origin and deserves special mention. Hutchinson points out that the Welsh counterpart, gwyn signifies not only white but fair, happy, holy, blessed. ‘There is’, he says ‘no more frequent epithet in Welsh poetry’. As an example, he goes on to point out that the Welsh word for Paradise is gwynfyd – literally ‘white world’.
The question of Vaughan’s mysticism is also problematical. Very often, you will see Vaughan (and Traherne for that matter) described in anthologies of English poetry as ‘a Seventeenth century mystic’ It’s not that easy, for there are mystics and mystics. If we are talking of a person who has achieved a full unity with the Divine – a man, as it were, living wholly in another world – then Vaughan was not a mystic. For one thing, there are practical considerations which are not lost on Stevie Davies in her account of Vaughan’s life. She wonders (and so do I) how someone with eight children by two marriages manages to get enough ‘quiet time’ to meditate at all! Most of Vaughan’s important religious poetry was written before he was thirty-five years old and between his twenty-fifth and thirty-fifth year, four children were born into the Vaughan household. The house would have been a fairly lively place, certainly no eremite’s cell. Moreover, either as a secretary or a doctor, we assume that Vaughan had to earn a crust. Mind you, J.S. Bach was in the same boat, but I note that no less a critic than H.C. Robbins-Landon has described him as being ‘in many respects a genuine mystic’.
More likely, I think, is Ross Garner’s appraisal. In discussing one of Vaughan’s better known ‘mystical’ poems, The Night, he supposes that what characterises Vaughan’s religious experience is that of a longing for mystical union, not its achievement. And yet, when we read his great religious poems, is it not the case that we, ourselves, feel as if Vaughan has achieved some sort of mystical union. That this should be so is the mark of great poetry. Now, it is interesting to note that T.S. Eliot supposes Vaughan to be a ‘minor religious poet’ precisely because his poetry is the product of ‘a special religious awareness, which may exist without the general awareness which we expect of the major poet’. In other words, Vaughan’s poetry is simply ‘devotional poetry’ –like say, Helen Steiner Rice. But this is surely not true! Some of his religious poetry is of this type no doubt and Hutchison refers to certain of it as ‘plodding couplets of conventional piety’. But most is far more universal in its appeal. Vaughan, of all people, is a generalist, not a specialist. He lived at a time when the particular symbols and practices associated with his form of Anglicanism were shattered by the Civil War. As Kathleen Raine reminds us: ‘Iconoclastic Protestantism largely destroyed, in England, the images which always had been, and must normally be, the natural language of spiritual knowledge’. For this reason, if for no other, he was inclined to draw his inspiration from wider sources and, most especially, from the natural world around him. But Vaughan’s nature was not Wordsworth’s nature. It was at the same time a reflection of the Divine and a veil, obscuring the Divine. Vaughan, I think, would have agreed with William Blake – ‘Mr Wordsworth must know that what he Writes Valuable is not to be found in Nature’.
It is true that there are many enigmas in Vaughan’s poetry, but I suspect these are of our making, not his. Vaughan can appear to hold the things of this earth in contempt, yet regard them as hierophantic. At some times, his poetry hints at an immanent spirituality, at others, a transcendent spirituality. His poetry can appear very simple yet, upon closer study, it reflects all of the complexities inherent in the Christian tradition. But it is the mark of a truly imaginative spirit that such contraries can be held together without conflict. Vaughan’s best poetry transcends such concerns and draws upon a world of the imagination which is outside time and outside history. No one has put it better than Raine:
Those who look to a timeless world are least likely to fall into archaisms of style, for the world of imagination is outside history altogether. Pope, Dryden and Auden are dated in a way that Dante, Milton, Coleridge, and Yeats, even when these embody in their imaginative world themes from history, can never be.
I think I would be tempted to add to these two lists given by Raine. To the first list of Pope, Dryden and Auden, I would add Eliot. To the second list, I would add Vaughan. The Waste Land may well reflect a modern, fragmented mind at the end of its tether and it may well be the best poem of the last hundred years (as some think it is). But it can only have meaning in an age as terrible as ours. Vaughan’s best poems, on the other hand, are outside the context of history and they supply an intellectual nourishment of real substance, not the sort of literary Bovril so lauded by many modern critics. They are, in all truth ‘bright shoots of everlastingness’.
(This essay first appeared in Connor Court Quarterly, No. 7, 2013)
 The word did not yet bear its current meaning (though it was on its way to doing so). It still bore its older meaning of ‘concept’. Used pejoratively, it meant a poetry of clever ideas.
 Such intensity of feeling some 250 years later may seem a little odd, but is by no means unique. I am indebted to John Julius Norwich for the following pieces which appeared consecutively in the In Memoriam column of The Times in London On 3rd Sept., 1969
OLIVER CROMWELL, 25th April, 1599 – 3rd September 1658. Lord Protector, 1653-1658. Statesman, General and Ruler.
‘Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered’. Psalm 68, verse i.
In honoured remembrance.
CROMWELL. – To the eternal condemnation of Oliver, Seditionist, Traitor, Regicide, Racialist, proto-Fascist and blasphemous Bigot. God save England from his like. – Hugo Ball.
 Henry Vaughan: A Life and Interpretation. Oxford Univ. Press. London. 1947. 260pp
 Henry Vaughan. Seren (Poetry Wales Press), Border Lines Series. Bridgend, Wales, 1995. 213pp.
 Henry Vaughan. The Complete Poems. Penguin Books, London. 1983 Revised Edition. 718pp. All extracts of poems quoted in this essay come from Rudrum’s Edition.
 Here I use part of the translation by Alan Rudrum of Vaughan’s Latin original.
 Henry Vaughan and the Hermetic Philosophy. Oxford, 1932.
 Henry Vaughan: Experience and the Tradition. Univ. Chicago Press, 1959.
 Handel and his World. Flamingo (Harper Collins), London 1992 pg. 285
 ‘Religion and Literature’ in: T.S. Eliot. Selected Essays. Faber & Faber. 1972 (3rd edit).
 Defending Ancient Springs. Oxford Univ. Press, 1985. Pg.118
 Defending Ancient Springs. Oxford Univ. Press, 1985. Pg 122