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 Salutation

These little limbs,
These eyes and hands which here I find,
These rosy cheeks wherewith my life begins,
Where have ye been? behind
What curtain were ye from me hid so long?
Where was, in what abyss, my speaking tongue?

When silent I
So many thousand, thousand years
Beneath the dust did in a chaos lie,
How could I smiles or tears,
Or lips or hands or eyes or ears perceive?
Welcome ye treasures which I now receive.

I that so long
Was nothing from eternity,
Did little think such joys as ear or tongue
To celebrate or see:
Such sounds to hear,...

Read the full of The Salutation

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.

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