Thomas Traherne

(1636 or 1637 – ca. 27 September 1674 / England)

Thomas Traherne Quotes

  • ''It is of the nobility of man's soul that he is insatiable: for he hath a benefactor so prone to give, that he delighteth in us for asking. Do not your inclinations tell you that the WORLD is yours?''
    Thomas Traherne (1636-1674), British clergyman, poet, mystic. Centuries, "First Century," no. 22 (written c. 1672, first published 1908).
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  • ''The corn was orient and immortal wheat, which never should be reaped, nor was ever sown. I thought it had stood from everlasting to everlasting.''
    Thomas Traherne (1636-1674), British clergyman, poet, mystic. Centuries, "Third Century, no. 3 (written c. 1672, first published 1908). Referring to Traherne's first impressions of the world.
  • ''A little grit in the eye destroyeth the sight of the very heavens, and a little malice or envy a world of joys. One wry principle in the mind is of infinite consequence.''
    Thomas Traherne (1636-1674), British clergyman, poet, mystic. Centuries, "Fourth Century," no. 17 (written c. 1672, first published 1908).
  • ''This moment exhibits infinite space, but there is a space also wherein all moments are infinitely exhibited, and the everlasting duration of infinite space is another region and room of joys.''
    Thomas Traherne (1636-1674), British clergyman, poet, mystic. "Fifth Century," no. 6, Centuries (written c. 1672, published 1908).
  • ''An empty book is like an infant's soul, in which anything may be written. It is capable of all things, but containeth nothing. I have a mind to fill this with profitable wonders.''
    Thomas Traherne (1636-1674), British clergyman, poet, mystic. "First Century," no. 1, Centuries (written c. 1672, first published 1908).
  • ''I will not by the noise of bloody wars and the dethroning of kings advance you to glory: but by the gentle ways of peace and love.''
    Thomas Traherne (1636-1674), British clergyman, poet, mystic. "First Century," no. 4, Centuries (written c. 1672, first publ. 1908).
  • ''You never know yourself till you know more than your body.''
    Thomas Traherne (1636-1674), British clergyman, poet, mystic. "First Century," no. 19, Centuries (written c. 1672, first published 1908).
  • ''The soul is made for action, and cannot rest till it be employed. Idleness is its rust. Unless it will up and think and taste and see, all is in vain.''
    Thomas Traherne (1636-1674), British clergyman, poet, mystic. "Fourth Century," no. 95, Centuries (1908). Written c. 1672.
  • ''More company increases happiness, but does not lighten or diminish misery.''
    Thomas Traherne (1636-1674), British clergyman, poet, mystic. Written (c. 1672). "Fourth Century," no. 14, Centuries (1908).
  • ''To love one person with a private love is poor and miserable: to love all is glorious.''
    Thomas Traherne (1636-1674), British clergyman, poet, mystic. (First published 1908). "Fourth Century," no. 69, Centuries (written c. 1672).

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Best Poem of Thomas Traherne

The Apostasy

One star
Is better far
Than many precious stones;
One sun, which is by its own luster seen,
Is worth ten thousand golden thrones;
A juicy herb, or spire of grass,
In useful virtue, native green,
An em'rald doth surpass,
Hath in 't more value, though less seen.

No wars,
Nor mortal jars,
Nor bloody feuds, nor coin,
Nor griefs which those occasions, saw I then;
Nor wicked thieves which this purloin;
I had not thoughts that were impure;
Esteeming both women and men
God's work, I was secure,
And reckoned peace my choicest gem. ...

Read the full of The Apostasy

Innocence

But that which most I wonder at, which most
I did esteem my bliss, which most I boast,
And ever shall enjoy, is that within
I felt no stain, nor spot of sin.

No darkness then did overshade,
But all within was pure and bright,
No guilt did crush, nor fear invade
But all my soul was full of light.

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