WHEN FIRST as a boy I made the acquaintance of Silex Scintillans in the Temple Classics I was charmed with its frontispiece, a picture of the church in which Vaughan used to worship at Llansantfraed. It was what one would expect the church of a remote mountain valley to be; white walls with a simple window, a roof of stone slabs rising in quaint slopes, and a low round tower. Unfortunately I failed to notice or at any rate to take in the words written below the picture "The Old Church". When therefore on a summer's day in 1947 I approached in pilgrim temper the church of Llansantfraed, I expected to see at last the building so long known. I was bitterly disillusioned. It exists no longer and its place is taken by a particularly pretentious and hideous specimen of Victorian-Gothic built in 1884. But the poet's grave is still to be seen beneath a yew, "No shade but yew", its inscription recut as the result of the endeavours of one of the poet's most faithful admirers, Miss Imogen Guiney, the American Catholic, so devoted to the English poets of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It is a simple, humble, deeply Christian inscription, the poet's choice: "Servus inutilis, peccator maximus, hic jaceo. Gloria. Miserere." Gloria, for the glory of God had been the theme of all his best verse; Miserere, a prayer surely for the repose of his soul. A little further along the road is the farm- house, though much altered, of Newton, where he lived the greater part of his life.
Two women--a local Anglican, Miss Gwenlian Morgan, and Miss Guiney--spent years of labour collecting materials for a life of Vaughan, working in collaboration. Unfortunately neither was able to write the life planned. But their work was not lost. For after Miss Morgan's death the materials she and Miss Guiney had collected were sent to the late Dr. F. E. Hutchinson who made use of them to produce what is no doubt the definitive life of the poet, enriched moreover by the