Thomas Traherne


But that which most I wonder at, which most 
I did esteem my bliss, which most I boast, 
And ever shall enjoy, is that within 
        I felt no stain, nor spot of sin. 

        No darkness then did overshade, 
        But all within was pure and bright, 
        No guilt did crush nor fear invade,
        But all my soul was full of light. 

        A joyful sense and purity 
                Is all I can remember, 
        The very night to me was bright, 
        ’Twas Summer in December. 

A serious meditation did employ 
My soul within, which taken up with joy 
Did seem no outward thing to note, but fly 
        All objects that do feed the eye. 

        While it those very objects did 
        Admire, and prize, and praise, and love, 
        Which in their glory most are hid, 
        Which presence only doth remove. 

      Their constant daily presence I 
               Rejoicing at, did see, 
        And that which takes them from the eye 
        Of others offered them to me. 

No inward inclination did I feel 
To avarice or pride; my soul did kneel 
In admiration all the day. No lust, nor strife, 
        Polluted then my infant life. 

        No fraud nor anger in me mov’d, 
        No malice, jealousy, or spite; 
        All that I saw I truly lov’d. 
        Contentment only and delight 

        Were in my soul. O Heav’n! what bliss 
               Did I enjoy and feel! 
        What powerful delight did this 
        Inspire! for this I daily kneel. 

Whether it be that Nature is so pure, 
And custom only vicious; or that sure 
God did by miracle the guilt remove, 
        And make my soul to feel his Love 

        So early: or that ’twas one day, 
        Wherein this happiness I found,
        Whose strength and brightness so do ray, 
        That still it seems me to surround, 

        Whate’re it is, it is a Light 
               So endless unto me 
        That I a world of true delight 
        Did then, and to this day do see. 

That prospect was the gate of Heaven, that day 
The ancient Light of Eden did convey 
Into my soul: I was an Adam there 
        A little Adam in a sphere 

        Of joys! O there my ravisht sense 
        Was entertain’d in Paradise, 
         And had a sight of Innocence, 
        Which was beyond all bound and price. 

        An antepast of Heaven sure! 
        I on the earth did reign,
        Within, without me, all was pure; 
        I must become a child again.