Thomas Traherne

I’d almost forgotten about the Bloggers’ Silent Poetry Reading that has happened for three years now on the Feast of St. Brigid, but I think I can get in under the wire. This year, I'm going to be posting part of a poem by Thomas Traherne, who entered my life in a completely sneaky and innocuous way when I read Wine of Angels a little while back. Traherne (1637-1674) was a minister and is called the last of the metaphysical poets. Much of his poetry expresses an almost delirious love of nature and based on what I heard in line of Angels, I need to get my hands on a collection called The Poems of Felicity, as well as his Meditations. Or anything, really. His writing positively sings.


Walking

To walk abroad is, not with eyes,
But thoughts, the fields to see and prize;
Else may the silent feet,
Like logs of wood,
Move up and down, and see no good
Nor joy nor glory meet.

E
v'n carts and wheels their place do change,
But cannot see, though very strange
The glory that is by;
Dead puppets may
Move in the bright and glorious day,
Yet not behold the sky.

A
nd are not men than they more blind,
Who having eyes yet never find
The bliss in which they move;
Like statues dead
They up and down are carried
Yet never see nor love.
...

Observe those rich and glorious things,
The rivers, meadows, woods, and springs,
The fructifying sun;
To note from far
The rising of each twinkling star
For us his race to run.

A
little child these well perceives,
Who, tumbling in green grass and leaves,
May rich as kings be thought,
But there's a sight
Which perfect manhood may delight,
To which we shall be brought.

W
hile in those pleasant paths we talk,
'Tis that tow'rds which at last we walk;
For we may by degrees
Wisely proceed
Pleasures of love and praise to heed,
From viewing herbs and trees.

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