POETRY: The Vision, by Thomas Traherne

The Vision Thomas Traherne

Flight is but the preparative. The sight
Is deep and infinite,
Ah me! ‘tis all the glory, love, light, space,
Joy, beauty and variety
That doth adorn the Godhead’s dwelling-place;
‘Tis all that eye can see.
Even trades themselves seen in celestial light,
And cares and sins and woes are bright.

Order the beauty even of beauty is,
It is the rule of bliss,
The very life and form and cause of pleasure;
Which if we do not understand,
Ten thousand heaps of vain confused treasure
Will but oppress the land.
In blessedness itself we that shall miss,
Being blind, which is the cause of bliss.

First then behold the world as thine, and well
Note that where thou dost dwell.
See all the beauty of the spacious case,
Lift up thy pleas’d and ravisht eyes,
Admire the glory of the Heavenly place
And all its blessings prize.
That sight well seen thy spirit shall prepare,
The first makes all the other rare.

Men’s woes shall be but foils unto thy bliss,
Thou once enjoying this:
Trades shall adorn and beautify the earth,
Their ignorance shall make thee bright;
Were not their griefs Democritus his mirth?
Their faults shall keep thee right:
All shall be thine, because they all conspire
To feed and make thy glory higher.

To see a glorious fountain and an end,
To see all creatures tend
To thy advancement, and so sweetly close
In thy repose: to see them shine
In use, in worth, in service, and even foes
Among the rest made thine:
To see all these unite at once in thee
Is to behold felicity.

To see the fountain is a blessed thing,
It is to see the King
Of Glory face to face: but yet the end,
The glorious, wondrous end is more;
And yet the fountain there we comprehend,
The spring we there adore:
For in the end the fountain best is shown,
As by effects the cause is known.

From one, to one, in one to see all things,
To see the King of Kings
But once in two; to see His endless treasures
Made all mine own, myself the end
Of all his labors! ‘Tis the life of pleasures!
To see myself His friend!
Who all things finds conjoined in Him alone,
Sees and enjoys the Holy One.

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