Sunday, 9 October 2011

Thomas Traherne

October 10 is the commemoration of the English poet and divine Thomas Traherne (1637-1674).  Here's a taste of his stuff.

A Serious and Pathetical Contemplation of the Mercies of God

For all the mysteries, engines, instruments, wherewith the world is filled, which we are able to frame and use to thy glory.

For all the trades, variety of operations, cities, temples, streets, bridges, mariner's compass, admirable picture, sculpture, writing, printing, songs and music; wherewith the world is beautified and adorned.

     Much more for the regent life,
     And power of perception,
     Which rules within.
     That secret depth of fathomless consideration
     That receives the information of all our senses,
     That makes our centre equal to the heavens,
      And comprehendeth in itself the magnitude of the world;
      The involv'd mysteries of our common sense;
      The inaccessible secret of perceptive fancy;
      The repository and treasury of things that are past;
      The presentation of things to come;
      Thy name be glorified for evermore.

      O miracle of divine goodness!
      O fire! O flame of zeal, and love, and joy!
       Ev'n for our earthly bodies, hast thou created all things.
      All things visible, material, sensible.
      Animals, Vegetables, Minerals,
      Bodies celestial, Bodies terrestrial,
      The four elements, Volatile spirits,
      Trees, herbs, and flowers,
      The influences of heaven,
      Clouds, vapors, wind,
      Dew, rain, hail and snow,
      Light and darkness, night and day,
      The seasons of the year.
      Springs, rivers, fountains, oceans,
     Gold, silver, and precious stones.
      Corn, wine, and oil,
       The sun, moon, and stars,
       Cities, nations, kingdoms.
And the bodies of men, the greatest treasures of all,
For each other.
What then, O Lord, hast thou intended for our Souls,
who givest to our bodies such glorious things!
Enjoy and reflect - God made all of us and all of it is good.  It's only our twisted human visons and misunderstandings that make it so "evil".  That twistedness (which you can call original sin) distorts us and our actions so severely that the world and others and God suffer.  If we let divine Grace in Christ change, transform and re-order "our unruly wills and affections", then God's will will be done on earth as it is in heaven.


  1. Hello! I like poetry so much !!
    I'm searching blogs, I click "next blog".
    So I'm here.
    My name is Flori, nice to meet you.
    I speak Spanish, because I'm argentinian. However I'm learning english.. I love it.
    Good luck

  2. Nice to meet you too Flori. i hope you enjoy the bits and pieces i put on.