Poetry, VOLUME 12

Thomas Traherne Poems – Five Favorites by the English Poet-Priest!

Today (Oct. 10) marks the anniversary of the death of English poet and priest, Thomas Traherne…

We honor the occasion with five excellent Thomas Traherne poems …

Thomas Traherne (1636? – 1674) was an English poet, clergyman, theologian, and religious writer.  Traherne’s poems frequently explore the glory of creation and what he perceived as his intimate relationship with God. His writing conveys an ardent, almost childlike love of God, and is compared to similar themes in the works of later poets William Blake, Walt Whitman, and Gerard Manley Hopkins.  (via Wikipedia)

*** Books by Thomas Traherne


Thomas Traherne

Found in:
The Poetical Works of Thomas Traherne
(FREE Ebook Available via Google Books)

How easily doth Nature teach the soul,
How irresistible is her infusion!
There’s nothing found that can her force control,
But Sin. How weak and feeble’s all delusion!

Things false are forc’d, and most elaborate,
Things pure and true are obvious unto sense;
The first impressions, in our earthly state,
Are made by things most great in excellence.

How easy is it to believe the sky
Is wide and great and fair! How soon may we
Be made to know the Sun is bright and high,
And very glorious, when its beams we see?

That all the Earth is one continued globe,
And that all men therein are living treasures,
That fields and meadows are a glorious robe
Adorning it with sweet and heavenly pleasures.

That all we see is ours, and every one
Possessor of the whole; that every man
Is like a God Incarnate on the Throne,
Even like the first for whom the world began;

Whom all are taught to honor, serve, and love,
Because he is belov’d of God unknown;
And therfore is on Earth itself above
All others, that His wisdom might be shewn.

That all may happy be, each one most blest,
Both in himself and others; all most high,
While all by each, and each by all possest,
Are intermutual joys, beneath the sky.

This shews a wise contrivance, and discovers
Some great Creator sitting on the Throne,
That so disposeth things for all His lovers,
That every one might reign like God alone.

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IMAGE CREDIT: Thomas Traherne (Stained Glass at Hereford Cathedral by Tom Denny). Creative Commons License via Wikimedia Commons.


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C. Christopher Smith is the founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of a number of books, including most recently How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (Brazos Press, 2019). Connect with him online at: C-Christopher-Smith.com

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