Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THOUGHTS I, by THOMAS TRAHERNE

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THOUGHTS I, by                 Poet's Biography
First Line: Ye brisk divine and living things
Last Line: Ten thousand ages hence they are as young.
Subject(s): God


Ye brisk divine and living things,
Ye great exemplars, and ye heavenly springs
Which I within me see;
Ye machines great,
Which in my spirit God did seat,
Ye engines of felicity;
Ye wondrous fabrics of His hands,
Who all possesseth that He understands;
That ye are pent within my breast,
Yet rove at large from east to west,
And are invisible, yet infinite;
Is my transcendent, and my best delight.


By you I do the joys possess
Of yesterday's yet-present blessedness;
As in a mirror clear,
Old objects I
Far distant do even now descry
Which by your help are present here.
Ye are yourselves the very pleasures,
The sweetest, last, and most substantial treasures,
The offsprings and effects of bliss
By whose return my glory is
Renew'd, and represented to my view:
O ye delights, most pure, divine, and true!


Ye thoughts and apprehensions are
The heavenly streams which fill the soul with rare
Transcendent perfect pleasures.
At any time,
As if ye still were in your prime,
Ye open all His heavenly treasures.
His joys accessible are found
To you, and those things enter which surround
The soul. Ye living things within!
Where had all joy and glory been
Had ye not made the soul those things to know,
Which seated in it make the fairest show?


I know not by what secret power
Ye flourish so; but ye within your bower,
More beautiful do seem,
And better meat
Ye daily yield my soul to eat,
Than even the objects I esteem
Without my soul. What were the sky,
What were the sun, or stars, did ye not lie
In me! and represent them there
Where else they never could appear!
Yea what were bliss without such thoughts to me,
What were my life, what were the Deity?


O ye conceptions of delight!
Ye that inform my soul with life and sight!
Ye representatives, and springs
Of inward pleasure!
Ye joys! Ye ends of outward treasure!
Ye inward, and ye living things!
The thought, or joy conceived is
The inward fabric of my standing bliss.
It is the substance of my mind
Transform'd, and with its objects lin'd.
The quintessence, elixir, spirit, cream.
'Tis strange that things unseen should be supreme.


The eye's confin'd, the body's pent
In narrow room: limbs are of small extent.
But thoughts are always free.
And as they're best,
So can they even in the breast,
Rove o'er the world with liberty:
Can enter ages, present be
In any kingdom, into bosoms see.
Thoughts, thoughts can come to things, and view,
What bodies can't approach unto.
They know no bar, denial, limit, wall:
But have a liberty to look on all.


Like bees they fly from flower to flower,
Appear in every closet, temple, bower;
And suck the sweet from thence,
No eye can see:
As tasters to the Deity.
Incredible's their excellence.
For evermore they will be seen
Nor ever moulder into less esteem.
They ever show an equal face,
And are immortal in their place.
Ten thousand ages hence they are as strong,
Ten thousand ages hence they are as young.

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