Wednesday, July 1, 2009

"All that I saw did me delight"

A learned and a happy ignorance
Divided me
From all the vanity,
From all the sloth, care, pain, and sorrow that advance
The madness and the misery
Of men. No error, no distraction I
Saw soil the earth, or overcloud the sky.

I knew not that there was a serpent’s sting,
Whose poison shed
On men, did overspread
The world; nor did I dream of such a thing
As sin, in which mankind lay dead.
They all were brisk and living wights to me,
Yea, pure and full of immortality.

Joy, pleasure, beauty, kindness, glory, love,
Sleep, day, life, light,
Peace, melody, my sight,
My ears and heart did fill and freely move.
All that I saw did me delight.
The Universe was then a world of treasure,
To me an universal world of pleasure. ...(more)

From "Eden" by Thomas Traherne (1637-1674). Read the complete poem here.

The Garden of Eden, Unknown master of the Upper Rhineland, c.1410. Image from Web Gallery of Art.


Perfumeshrine said...

I love that kind of pictorial painting of the Middle Ages, the delicate figures and the almost non dimensional background. It gives an air of not quite serenity.

BitterGrace said...

How well you put it, E. (Did you see the tiny dragon?)