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Short poem

Thomas Traherne (1637-1674)


              1To walk abroad is, not with eyes,
              2But thoughts, the fields to see and prize;
              3      Else may the silent feet,
              4           Like logs of wood,
              5Move up and down, and see no good
              6      Nor joy nor glory meet.

              7Ev'n carts and wheels their place do change,
              8But cannot see, though very strange
              9      The glory that is by;
            10           Dead puppets may
            11Move in the bright and glorious day,
            12      Yet not behold the sky.

            13And are not men than they more blind,
            14Who having eyes yet never find
            15      The bliss in which they move;
            16           Like statues dead
            17They up and down are carried
            18      Yet never see nor love.

            19To walk is by a thought to go;
            20To move in spirit to and fro;
            21      To mind the good we see;
            22           To taste the sweet;
            23Observing all the things we meet
            24      How choice and rich they be.

            25To note the beauty of the day,
            26And golden fields of corn survey;
            27      Admire each pretty flow'r
            28           With its sweet smell;
            29To praise their Maker, and to tell
            30      The marks of his great pow'r.

            31To fly abroad like active bees,
            32Among the hedges and the trees,
            33      To cull the dew that lies
            34           On ev'ry blade,
            35From ev'ry blossom; till we lade
            36      Our minds, as they their thighs.

            37Observe those rich and glorious things,
            38The rivers, meadows, woods, and springs,
            39      The fructifying sun;
            40           To note from far
            41The rising of each twinkling star
            42      For us his race to run.

            43A little child these well perceives,
            44Who, tumbling in green grass and leaves,
            45      May rich as kings be thought,
            46           But there's a sight
            47Which perfect manhood may delight,
            48      To which we shall be brought.

            49While in those pleasant paths we talk,
            50'Tis that tow'rds which at last we walk;
            51      For we may by degrees
            52           Wisely proceed
            53Pleasures of love and praise to heed,
            54      From viewing herbs and trees.

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Thomas Traherne, Poems of Felicity, ed. H. J. Bell (Clarendon Press, 1910). PR 3736 T7A6 1910 ROBA.
First publication date: 1910
RPO poem editor: N. J. Endicott
RP edition: 3RP 1.376-77.
Recent editing: 2:2002/5/8

Rhyme: aabccb

Other poems by Thomas Traherne