Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, POEM ON MODERATION, by THOMAS TRAHERNE

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

POEM ON MODERATION, by                 Poet's Biography
First Line: In making bodies love could not express
Last Line: God made man greater while he made him less.
Subject(s): Creation; God; Soul

In making bodies Love could not express
Itself, or Art; unless it made them less.
O what a monster had in man been seen,
Had every thumb or toe a mountain been!
What worlds must he devour when he did eat?
What oceans drink! yet could not all his meat,
Or stature, make him like an angel shine;
Or make his soul in glory more divine.
A soul it is that makes us truly great,
Whose little bodies make us more complete.
An understanding that is infinite,
An endless, wide, and everlasting sight,
That can enjoy all things and nought exclude,
Is the most sacred greatness may be view'd.
'Twas inconvenient that his bulk should be
An endless hill; he nothing then could see.
No figure have, no motion, beauty, place,
No colour, feature, member, light, or grace.
A body like a mountain is but cumber.
An endless body is but idle lumber.
It spoils converse, and time itself devours,
While meat in vain, in feeding idle powers.
Excessive bulk being most injurious found,
To those inconveniences which men have crown'd.
His wisdom did His power here repress,
God made man greater while He made him less.

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