Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, DESIRE, by THOMAS TRAHERNE

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

DESIRE, by                 Poet's Biography
First Line: For giving me desire
Last Line: As light in flame, and heat in fire.
Subject(s): Desire; Love


For giving me desire,
An eager thirst, a burning ardent fire,
A virgin infant flame,
A love with which into the world I came,
An inward hidden heavenly love,
Which in my soul did work and move,
And ever ever me inflame,
With restless longing heavenly avarice,
That never could be satisfied,
That did incessantly a Paradise
Unknown suggest, and something undescried
Discern, and bear me to it; be
Thy name for ever prais'd by me.


My parch'd and wither'd bones
Burnt up did seem: my soul was full of groans:
My thoughts extensions were:
Like paces, reaches, steps they did appear:
They somewhat hotly did pursue,
Knew that they had not all their due;
Nor ever quiet were;
But made my flesh like hungry thirsty ground,
My heart a deep profound abyss,
And every joy and pleasure but a wound,
So long as I my blessedness did miss.
O happiness! A famine burns,
And all my life to anguish turns!


Where are the silent streams,
The living waters, and the glorious beams,
The sweet reviving bowers,
The shady groves, the sweet and curious flowers,
The springs and trees, the heavenly days,
The flowery meads, and glorious rays,
The gold and silver towers?
Alas, all these are poor and empty things:
Trees, waters, days, and shining beams,
Fruits, flowers, bowers, shady groves and springs,
No joy will yield, no more than silent streams.
These are but dead material toys,
And cannot make my heavenly joys.


O love! Ye amities,
And friendships, that appear above the skies!
Ye feasts, and living pleasures!
Ye senses, honours, and imperial treasures!
Ye bridal joys! Ye high delights,
That satisfy all appetites!
Ye sweet affections, and
Ye high respects! Whatever joys there be
In triumphs, whatsoever stand
In amicable sweet society,
Whatever pleasures are at His right hand,
Ye must, before I am divine,
In full propriety be mine.


This soaring sacred thirst,
Ambassador of bliss, approached first,
Making a place in me,
That made me apt to prize, and taste, and see;
For not the objects, but the sense
Of things, doth bliss to souls dispense,
And make it, Lord, like Thee.
Sense, feeling, taste, complacency, and sight,
These are the true and real joys,
The living flowing inward melting, bright
And heavenly pleasures; all the rest are toys:
All which are founded in desire,
As light in flame, and heat in fire.

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