It’s an unsettling time of year for some of us, around mid-March. Spring seems to be on its way, and then come days of non-stop rain, and then that thin and gusting wind that makes you wish you’d never abandoned your winter wardrobe. People become impatient, going on about unimportant things, until they get on your nerves. 

Money matters are not always easy to manage, and some of your family and friends are in difficulties, and there seems to be little that you can do to help them out. When you turn to the MSM for a little light relief, the news is so gloomy that you turn it off again after the first five minutes. 

No? Not something you’ve noticed, personally? That’s good! No need to read on: you can simply go on your way rejoicing.

However, if you are looking for something to help settle your spirit, perhaps you might like to try Henry Vaughan’s poem, “Peace”, from his collection of Christian verse, “Silex Scintillans”. (“The Flashing Flint” - referring to “the stony hardness of his heart, from which divine steel strikes fire”.)

It contains a couple of archaic expressions, with which you may be unfamiliar - but in the age of the internet, it will take you no more than a few moments to find out what they mean. 

May I suggest that you glance at it a couple of times, perhaps even reading it out loud; then, leave it for a while, and come back to it later - ideally in the evening, when you have the time to think it through?

Here it is, anyway.


My Soul, there is a country
Afar beyond the stars,
Where stands a winged sentry
All skillful in the wars;
There, above noise and danger
Sweet Peace sits, crown'd with smiles,
And One born in a manger
Commands the beauteous files.
He is thy gracious friend
And (O my Soul awake!)
Did in pure love descend,
To die here for thy sake.
If thou canst get but thither,
There grows the flow'r of peace,
The rose that cannot wither,
Thy fortress, and thy ease.
Leave then thy foolish ranges,
For none can thee secure,
But One, who never changes,
Thy God, thy life, thy cure.

Henry Vaughan (1621-1695).