|Henry Vaughan is buried in the churchyard of St Bridget's Church,
Llansantffraed, Powys, Wales. His tombstone is located outside the
east wall of the church and bears a Latin inscription which he
composed. The church, located on the banks of the River Usk,
was rebuilt in the 19th century.
Henry Vaughan' Grave
Vaughan began writing secular
poems but following a religious conversion turned his attention to
devotional verse. He attributed his conversion largely to reading
the work of George Herbert. In 1650
Vaughan published his best known collection Silex
Scintillans. This featured a mystical philosophy influenced by
the hermeticism of his twin brother Thomas who was a philospher and
a practicising alchemist.
On the title page of the collection Vaughan refers to himself as
a 'Silurist' - a name taken from the Silures tribe who inhabited the
Brecon Beacons at the time of the Roman invasion.
Vaughan married Catherine Wise with whom he had one
son and three daughters. After his wife's death he married her
sister Elizabeth who also bore him a son and three daughters.
1923 Siegfried Sassoon made a pilgrimage
to Llansanffraed and while there wrote one of his most famous
peacetime poems At the Grave of Henry Vaughan, which begins:
'Here sleeps the Silurist; the loved physician;
The face that left no portraiture behind;
Vaughan's most famous poems include : The Retreat, The World,
The Waterfall and Man. His mystical view of nature
influenced the work of William Wordsworth.
|I saw Eternity the other night
|Like a great Ring of pure and endless
All calm as it was bright;
|And round beneath it, Time, in hours,
|Driven by the spheres,
|Like a vast shadow moved, in which the
And all her train were hurled.
From The World