What Is the Theme of "The Retreat" by Henry Vaughan?

The theme of the poem "The Retreat" is yearning for the religious purity and innocence of childhood. Henry Vaughan wrote the poem in the mid-1600s.

In "The Retreat" Vaughan describes his youth as "my angel infancy." He expresses a closeness with God and how as a child he could glimpse "His bright face" in clouds and flowers. As an adult with a heavy soul, he longs "to travel back."

Vaughan was born in Wales in 1621. He attended but did not finish a degree at Jesus College at Oxford and perused a career as a lawyer and physician. Vaughan is known for his religious poetry, much of which has the same theme as "The Retreat."