Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE INFERENCE: 1, by THOMAS TRAHERNE

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE INFERENCE: 1, by                 Poet's Biography
First Line: Well-guided thoughts within possess
Last Line: I may possess of his eternal treasure.
Subject(s): Details; Thought; Things; Thinking


Well-guided thoughts within possess
The treasures of all blessedness.
Things are indifferent; nor give
Joy of themselves, nor grieve.
The very Deity of God torments
The malcontents
Of hell; to th' soul alone it proves
A welcome object, that Him loves.
Things true affect not, while they are unknown:
But thoughts most sensibly, when quite alone.


Thoughts are the inward balms or spears;
The living joys, or griefs and fears;
The light, or else the fire; the theme
On which we pore or dream.
Thoughts are alone by men the objects found
That heal or wound.
Things are but dead: they can't dispense
Or joy or grief. Thoughts! Thoughts the sense
Affect and touch. Nay, when a thing is near
It can't affect but as it doth appear.


Since then by thoughts I only see;
Since thought alone affecteth me;
Since these are real things when shown;
And since as things are known
Or thought, they please or kill: what care ought I
(Since thoughts apply
Things to my mind) those thoughts aright to frame,
That heavenly thoughts me heavenly things may gain.


Ten thousand thousand things are dead;
Lie round about me; yet are fled,
Are absent, lost, and from me gone;
And those few things alone,
Or grieve my soul, or gratify my mind,
Which I do find
Within. Let then the troubles die,
The noisome poisons buried lie:
Ye cares and griefs avaunt, that breed distress.
Let only those remain which God will bless.


How many thousands see the sky,
The sun and moon, as well as I?
How many more that view the seas,
Feel neither joy nor ease?
Those things are dead and dry and banished.
Their life is led
As if the world were yet unmade:
A feast, fine clothes, or else a trade,
Take up their thoughts; and, like a grosser screen
Drawn o'er their soul, leave better things unseen.


But O! let me the excellence
Of God, in all His works, with sense
Discern: Oh! let me celebrate
And feel my blest estate:
Let all my thoughts be fix'd upon His throne;
And Him alone
For all His gracious gifts admire,
Him only with my soul desire:
Or grieve for sin. That with due sense, the pleasure
I may possess of His eternal treasure.

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