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In the poem, Retreat by Henry Vaughn, the author uses the theme of pre-existence as souls in heaven before we are born, and the theme of innocence and purity by retreating to being a baby. He laments his sins and impurities and longs for the cleanliness from sin of the newborn child. He also hopes that he will soon return to the purity of the soul in heaven. Vaughn was influenced by a conversion to Christianity later in life and by the death of his brother which influenced the themes of innocence and purity which become so prominent in his poetry written after his conversion.
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