Thomas Traherne

A Life of Sabbaths Here Beneath

A life of Sabbaths here beneath! 
Continual jubilees and joys! 
The days of Heaven, while we breathe 
On Earth! where Sin all Bliss destroys: 
This is a triumph of delights 
That doth exceed all appetites: 
No joy can be compared to this, 
It is a life of perfect Bliss.

Of perfect Bliss! How can it be? 
To conquer Satan, and to reign 
In such a vale of misery, 
Where vipers, stings, and tears remain, 
Is to be crowned with victory. 
To be content, divine, and free, 
Even here beneath is great delight 
And next the Beatific Sight.

But inward lusts do oft assail, 
Temptations work us much annoy 
We'll therefore weep, and to prevail 
Shall be a more celestial joy. 
To have no other enemy 
But one; and to that one to die: 
To fight with that and conquer it, 
Is better than in peace to sit.

'Tis better for a little time; 
For he that all his lusts doth quell, 
Shall find this life to be his prime 
And vanquish Sin, and conquer Hell. 
The next shall be his double joy; 
And that which here seemed to destroy 
Shall in the other life appear 
A root of bliss; a pearl each tear.