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Henry Charles Beeching, ed. (1859–1919). Lyra Sacra: A Book of Religious Verse. 1903.

By Henry Vaughan (1622–1695)

The Rainbow

STILL 1 young and fine! but what is still in view
We slight as old and soil’d, though fresh and new.
How bright wert thou, when Shem’s admiring eye
Thy burnisht flaming arch did first descry!
When Terah, Nahor, Haran, Abram, Lot,        5
The youthful world’s grey fathers in one knot,
Did with intentive looks watch every hour
For thy new light, and trembled at each shower!
When thou dost shine, darkness looks white and fair,
Storms turn to music, clouds to smiles and air,        10
Rain gently spends his honey-drops, and pours
Balm on the cleft earth, milk on grass and flowers.
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,        15
Distant, and low, I can in thine see Him,
Who looks upon thee from His glorious throne,
And minds the covenant ’twixt all and One.
Note 1. Campbell borrowed from this poem in his “Rainbow” the lines—
    “How came the world’s gray fathers forth
  To watch thy sacred sign.