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Selected Poetry of Thomas Traherne (1637-1674)


from Representative Poetry On-line
Prepared by members of the Department of English at the University of Toronto
from 1912 to the present and published by the University of Toronto Press from 1912 to 1967.
RPO Edited by Ian Lancashire
A UTEL (University of Toronto English Library) Edition
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries
© 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto

Index to poems

I within did flow
With seas of life, like wine;
I nothing in the world did know
But 'twas divine.
        (Wonder, 21-24)
  1. Eden
  2. Innocence
  3. News
  4. A Serious and Pathetical Contemplation of the Mercies of God
  5. Walking
  6. Wonder


Notes on Life and Works

After lying in manuscript for over two centuries, two autograph volumes of poetry and prose by Thomas Traherne were discovered in a London bookstall in 1896 and were thought by A. B. Grosart to be the work of Vaughan. After Dr. Grosart died, the MSS came into the hands of the bookseller Bertram Dobell, who identified their author and published the Poems in 1903, the prose Centuries of Meditations (`century' meaning one hundred passages) in 1908. Then another volume, containing a considerable number of unpublished poems, was discovered in the British Museum and published by H. J. Bell as Poems of Felicity. Traherne's capitalization and punctuation are so individual and deliberate that the text has been modernized less than other texts of the period.

Biographical information

Given name: Thomas
Family name: Traherne
Birth date: 1637
Death date: 1674