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Poem by Thomas Traherne

The Recovery

To see us but receive, is such a sight
As makes His treasures infinite!
Because His goodness doth possess
In us, His own, and our own blessedness.
Yea, more, His love doth take delight
To make our glory infinite;
Our blessedness to see
Is even to the Deity
A beatific vision! He attains
His ends while we enjoy. In us He reigns.

For God enjoyed is all His end.
Himself He then doth comprehend
When He is blessed, magnified,
Extolled, exalted, praised, and glorified,
Honored, esteemed, beloved, enjoyed,
Admired, sanctified, obeyed,
That is received. For He
Doth place His whole felicity
In that : who is despised and defied,
Undeified almost if once denied.

In all His works, in all His ways,
We must His glory see and praise;
And since our pleasure is the end,
We must His goodness and His love attend.
If we despise His glorious works,
Such sin and mischief in it lurks
That they are all made in vain;
And this is even endless pain
To Him that sees it: whose diviner grief
Is hereupon (ah me!) without relief.

We please His goodness that receive;
Refusers Him of all bereave,
As bridegrooms know full well that build
A palace for their bride. It will not yield
Any delight to him at all
If she for whom he made the hall
Refuse to dwell in it,
Or plainly scorn the benefit.
Her act that's wooed yields more delight and pleasure
If she receives, than all the pile of treasure.

But we have hands, and lips, and eyes,
And hearts and souls can sacrifice;
And souls themselves are made in vain
If we our evil stubbornness retain.
Affections, praises, are the things
For which He gave us all those springs;
They are the very fruits
Of all those trees and roots,
The fruits and ends of all His great endeavours,
Which he abolisheth whoever severs.

'Tis not alone a lively sense,
A clear and quick intelligence,
A free, profound, and full esteem;
Though these elixirs all and ends do seem:
But gratitude, thanksgiving, praise,
A heart returned for all those joys,
These are the things admired,
These are the things by Him desired:
These are the nectar and the quintessence,
The cream and flower that most affect His sense.

The voluntary act whereby
These are repaid is in His eye
More precious than the very sky.
All gold and silver is but empty dross,
Rubies and sapphires are but loss,
The very sun, and stars, and seas
Far less His spirit please:
One voluntary act of love
Far more delightful to His soul doth prove,
And is above all these as far as love. 

Thomas Traherne

Thomas Traherne's other poems:
  1. Shadows in the Water
  2. To the Same Purpose
  3. Sin
  4. Walking
  5. Dumbness

Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Alexander Brome The Recovery ("HOw unconcerned I can now")

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