Synopsis of Ascension - Hymn

A hymn

Jesus' ascensionA hymn is a stanzaic poem set to music to be sung in worship. The tune is repeated for each stanza. Each stanza therefore needs to be regular and not too long or complicated in structure.

The Ascension of Jesus is celebrated in the calendar of the Christian Church forty days after Easter. The event is recorded in the New Testament in Luke 24:51 and Acts 1:9.

Natural mysticism

Vaughan is probably thinking of the death of several close loved ones, and their ‘ascension' into heaven, as much that of Jesus. He lost his younger brother, William, and his first wife within a few years; also a cousin who was close to him. This was about the time he underwent his own conversion experience.

The poem is a good example of Vaughan's natural mysticism – heaven is never far away. Such mysticism often draws upon Platonic language and thought forms.

Investigating Ascension - Hymn
  • Read through Ascension - Hymn
    • What can you tell the poem itself about Vaughan's personal circumstances at the time of writing?
    • To whom is the poem addressed?
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