by Thomas Traherne


  How like an Angel came I down!
    How bright are all things here!
When first among His works I did appear
  O how their Glory me did crown!
The world resembled His Eternity,
    In which my soul did walk;
  And every thing that I did see
      Did with me talk.


  The skies in their magnificence,
    The lively, lovely air;
Oh how divine, how soft, how sweet, how fair!
  The stars did entertain my sense,
And all the works of God, so bright and pure,
    So rich and great did seem,
  As if they ever must endure
      In my esteem.


  A native health and innocence
    Within my bones did grow,
And while my God did all his Glories show,
  I felt a vigour in my sense
That was all Spirit. I within did flow
    With seas of life, like wine;
  I nothing in the world did know
      But 'twas divine.


  Harsh ragged objects were concealed,
    Oppressions, tears and cries,
Sins, griefs, complaints, dissensions, weeping eyes
  Were hid, and only things revealed
Which heavenly Spirits and the Angels prize.
    The state of Innocence
  And bliss, not trades and poverties,
      Did fill my sense.


  The streets were paved with golden stones,
    The boys and girls were mine,
Oh how did all their lovely faces shine!
  The sons of men were holy ones,
In joy and beauty they appeared to me,
    And every thing which here I found,
  While like an angel I did see,
      Adorned the ground.


  Rich diamond and pearl and gold
    In every place was seen;
Rare splendours, yellow, blue, red, white and green,
  Mine eyes did everywhere behold.
Great Wonders clothed with glory did appear,
    Amazement was my bliss,
  That and my wealth was everywhere;
      No joy to this!


  Cursed and devised proprieties,
    With envy, avarice
And fraud, those fiends that spoil even Paradise,
  Flew from the splendour of mine eyes,
And so did hedges, ditches, limits, bounds,
    I dreamed not aught of those,
  But wandered over all men's grounds,
      And found repose.


  Proprieties themselves were mine
    And hedges ornaments,
Walls, boxes, coffers, and their rich contents
  Did not divide my joys, but all combine.
Clothes, ribbons, jewels, laces, I esteemed
    My joys by others worn:
  For me they all to wear them seemed
      When I was born.

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