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Full Online Book HomePoemsCasimirus, (lyricorum) Lib. Iii. Ode Xxiii
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Casimirus, (lyricorum) Lib. Iii. Ode Xxiii Post by :sbtrue100 Category :Poems Author :Henry Vaughan Date :October 2011 Read :3383

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Casimirus, (lyricorum) Lib. Iii. Ode Xxiii

'Tis not rich furniture and gems,
With cedar roofs and ancient stems,
Nor yet a plenteous, lasting flood
Of gold, that makes man truly good.
Leave to inquire in what fair fields
A river runs which much gold yields;
Virtue alone is the rich prize
Can purchase stars, and buy the skies.
Let others build with adamant,
Or pillars of carv'd marble plant,
Which rude and rough sometimes did dwell
Far under earth, and near to hell.
But richer much--from death releas'd--
Shines in the fresh groves of the East
The ph(oe)nix, or those fish that dwell
With silver'd scales in Hiddekel.
Let others with rare, various pearls
Their garments dress, and in forc'd curls
Bind up their locks, look big and high,
And shine in robes of scarlet dye.
But in my thoughts more glorious far
Those native stars and speckles are
Which birds wear, or the spots which we
In leopards dispersed see.
The harmless sheep with her warm fleece
Clothes man, but who his dark heart sees
Shall find a wolf or fox within,
That kills the castor for his skin.
Virtue alone, and nought else can
A diff'rence make 'twixt beasts and man;
And on her wings above the spheres
To the true light his spirit bears.


(The end)
Henry Vaughan's poem: Casimirus, Lyric(orum) Lib. III. Ode XXIII

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