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- How like an angel came I down!
- How bright are all things here!
- When first among his works I did appear,
- Oh, how their glory did me crown!
- The world resembled his eternity,
- In which my sould did walk;
- And ev'rything that I did see
- Did with me talk.
- The skies in their magnificence,
- The lovely lively air,
- Oh, how divine, how soft, how sweet, how fair!
- The stars did entertain my sense,
- And all the works of God so bright and pure,
- So rich and great, did seem,
- As if they ever must endure
- In my esteem.
- A native health and innocence
- Within my bones did grow,
- And while my God did all his glories show,
- I felt a vigor in my sense
- That was all spirit; I within did flow
- With seas of life like wine;
- I nothing in the world did know,
- But 'twas divine.
- Harsh rugged objects were concealed;
- Oppressions, tears, and cries,
- Sins, griefs, complaints, dissensions, weeping eyes,
- Were hid, and only things revealed
- Which heavenly spirits and the angels prize:
- The state of innocence
- And bliss, not trades and poverties,
- Did fill my sense.
- The streets seemed paved with golden
- The boys and girls all mine --
- To me how did their lovely faces shine!
- The sons of men all holy ones,
- In joy and beauty then appeared to me;
- And ev'rything I found,
- While like an angel I did see,
- Adorned the ground.
- Rich diamonds, and pearl, and gold
- Might ev'rywhere be seen;
- Rare colors, yellow, blue, red, white, and green,
- Mine eyes on ev'ry side behold;
- All that I saw a wonder did appear,
- Amazement was my bliss,
- That and my wealth met ev'rywhere;
- No joy to this!
- Cursed, ill-devised proprieties,
- With envy, avarice,
- And fraud, those fiends that spoil ev'n paradise,
- Were not the object of mine eyes;
- Nor hedges, ditches, limits, narrow bounds,
- I dreamt not aught of those,
- But in surveying all men's grounds
- I found repose.
- For property itself was mine,
- And hedges, ornaments,
- Walls, houses, coffers, and their rich contents,
- To make me rich combine.
- Clothes, costly jewels, laces, I esteemed
- My wealth, by others worn,
- For me they all to wear them seemed,
- When I was born.
- Thomas Traherne
- One star
- Is better far
- Than many precious stones;
- One sun, which is by its own luster seen,
- Is worth ten thousand golden thrones;
- A juicy herb, or spire of grass,
- In useful virtue, native green,
- An em'rald doth surpass,
- Hath in 't more value, though less seen.
- No wars,
- Nor mortal jars,
- Nor bloody feuds, nor coin,
- Nor griefs which those occasions, saw I then;
- Nor wicked thieves which this purloin;
- I had not thoughts that were impure;
- Esteeming both women and men
- God's work, I was secure,
- And reckoned peace my choicest gem.
- As Eve,
- I did believe
- Myself in Eden set,
- Affecting neither gold nor ermined crowns,
- Nor aught else that I need foget;
- No mud did foul my limpid streams,
- Nor mist eclipsed my sun with frowns;
- Set off with heav'nly beams,
- My joys were meadows, fields, and towns.
- Those things
- Which cherubins
- Did not at first behold
- Among God's works, which Adam did not see --
- As robes, and stones enchased in gold,
- Rich cabinets, and such-like fine
- Inventions -- could not ravish me;
- I thought not bowls of wine
- Needful for my felicity.
- All bliss
- Consists in this,
- To do as Adam did,
- And not to know those superficial joys
- Which were from him in Eden hid,
- Those little new-invented things,
- Fine lace and silks, such childish toys
- As ribands are and rings,
- Or worldly pelf that us destroys.
- For God,
- Both great and good,
- The seeds of melancholy
- Created not, but only foolish men,
- Grown mad with customary folly
- Which doth increase their wants, so dote
- As when they elder grow they then
- Such baubles chiefly note;
- More fools at twenty years than ten.
- But I,
- I know not why,
- Did learn among them too,
- At length; and when I once with blemished eyes
- Began their pence and toys to view,
- Drowned in their customs, I became
- A stranger to the shining skies,
- Lost as a dying flame,
- And hobby-horses brought to prize.
- The sun
- And moon forgone
- As if unmade, appear
- No more to me; to God and heaven dead
- I was, as though they never were;
- Upon some useless gaudy book,
- When what I knew of God was fled,
- The child being taught to look,
- His soul was quickly murtherëd.
- O fine!
- O most divine!
- O brave! they cried; and showed
- Some tinsel thing whose glittering did amaze,
- And to their cries its beauty owed;
- Thus I on riches, by degrees,
- Of a new stamp did learn to gaze,
- While all the world for these
- I lost, my joy turned to a blaze.
- Thomas Traherne
- As in the house I sate,
- Alone and desolate,
- No creature but the fire and I,
- The chimney and the stool, I lift mine eye
- Up to the
- And in the silent hall,
- Saw nothing
- But some few cups and dishes shine,
- The table and the wooden stools
- Where people used to dine;
- A painted cloth there was,
- Wherein some ancient story wrought
- A little entertained my thought,
- Which light discovered through the glass.
- I wondered much to see
- That all my wealth should be
- Confined in such a little room,
- Yet hope for more I scarcely durst presume.
- It grieved
- That such a scanty store
- Should be my
- For I forgot my ease and health,
- Nor did I think of hands or eyes,
- Nor soul nor body prize;
- I neither thought the sun,
- Nor moon, nor stars, nor people mine,
- Though they did round about me shine;
- And therefore was I quite undone.
- Some greater things, I thought,
- Must needs for me be wrought,
- Which till my craving mind could see
- I ever should lament my poverty;
- I fain would
- Whatever bounty gave,
- Nor could
- Without or love or deity;
- For should not he be infinite
- Whose hand created me?
- Ten thousand absent things
- Did vex my poor and wanting mind,
- Which, till I be no longer blind,
- Let me not see the King of kings.
- His love must surely be
- Rich, infinite, and free;
- Nor can he be thought a God
- Of grace and power, that fills not his abode,
- His holy
- In kind and liberal sort;
- Joys and
- Plenty of jewels, goods, and treasures,
- To enrich the poor, cheer the forlorn,
- His palace must adorn,
- And given all to me;
- For till his works my wealth became,
- No love or peace did me inflame:
- But now I have a Deity.
- Thomas Traherne
Poets' Corner .
H O M E .