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

Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

DISSATISFACTION, by                 Poet's Biography
First Line: In clothes confin'd, my weary mind
Last Line: Until the bible me supplied.
Subject(s): Discontent; Dissatisfaction


In clothes confin'd, my weary mind
Pursu'd felicity;
Through every street I ran to meet
My bliss:
But nothing would the same disclose to me.
What is,
O where, the place of holy joy!
Will nothing to my soul some light convey!
In every house I sought for health,
Search'd every cabinet to spy my wealth,
I knock'd at every door,
Ask'd every man I met for bliss,
In every school, and college, sought for this:
But still was destitute and poor.


My piercing eyes unto the skies
I lifted up to see;
But no delight my appetite
Would sate;
Nor would that region show felicity:
My fate
Denied the same; above the sky,
Yea all the Heaven of Heavens, I lift mine eye:
But nothing more than empty space
Would there discover to my soul its face.
Then back dissatisfied
To earth I came; among the trees,
In taverns, houses, feasts, and palaces,
I sought it, but was still denied.


Panting and faint, full of complaint,
I it pursu'd again,
In diadems, and eastern gems,
In bags
Of gold and silver: but got no more gain
Than rags,
Or empty air, or vanity;
Nor did the temples much more signify:
Dirt in the streets; in shops I found
Nothing but toil. Walls only me surround
Of worthless stones or earth;
Dens full of thieves, glutted with blood,
Complaints and widows' tears: no other good
Could there descry, no heavenly mirth.


Men's customs here but vile appear;
The oaths of roaring boys,
Their gold that shines, their sparkling wines,
Their lies,
Their gaudy trifles, are mistaken joys:
To prize
Such toys I loath'd. My thirst did burn;
But where, O whither should my spirit turn!
Their games, their bowls, their cheating dice,
Did not complete, but spoil, my Paradise.
On things that gather rust,
Or modish clothes, they fix their minds,
Mere outward show their fancy blinds,
Their eyes being all put out with dust.


Sure none of these, senseless as trees,
Can show me true repose.
Philosophy! canst thou descry
My bliss?
Will books or sages it to me disclose?
I miss
Of this in all: they tell me pleasure,
Or earthly honour, or a fading treasure,
Will never with it furnish me.
But then, where is, what is, felicity?
Here all men are in doubt,
And unresolv'd, they cannot speak
What 'tis; and all or most that silence break
Discover nothing but their throat.


Weary of all that since the Fall
Mine eyes on earth can find,
I for a book from Heaven look,
Since here
No tidings will salute or ease my mind:
Mine ear,
My eye, my hand, my soul, doth long
For some fair book fill'd with eternal song.
O that! my soul: for that I burn:
That is the thing for which my heart did yearn.
Diviner counsels there;
The joys of God, the angels' songs,
The secret causes which employ their tongues,
Will surely please when they appear.


What sacred ways! What heavenly joys!
Which mortals do not see?
What hidden springs! What glorious things
What kind of life among them led may be
In love!
What causes of delight they have!
What pleasing joyous objects God them gave!
This mightily I long'd to know;
Oh, that some angel these would to me show!
How full, divine, and pure,
Their bliss may be, including all
Things visible or invisible, which shall
To everlasting firm endure.


O this! In this I hop'd for bliss;
Of this I dreamt by night:
For this by day I gasping lay;
Mine eyes
For this did fail: for this, my great delight
The skies
Became, in hopes they would disclose
My sacred joys, and my desir'd repose.
Oh! that some angel would bring down
The same to me; that book should be my crown.
I breathe, I long, I seek:
Fain would I find, but still denied,
I sought in every library and creek
Until the Bible me supplied.

Other Poems of Interest...

Home: PoetryExplorer.net