Thomas Traherne

(1636 or 1637 – ca. 27 September 1674 / England)

Thomas Traherne
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He was born in Hereford, son of a shoemaker, and educated at Hereford Cathedral School and Brasenose College, Oxford, in 1652, achieving an MA in arts and divinity nine years later. After receiving his degree in 1656 he took holy orders and worked for ten years as a parish priest in Credenhill, near Hereford. In 1667 he became minister at Teddington and private chaplain to Sir Orlando Bridgeman, the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal to Charles II. He died at Bridgeman's house at Teddington on or about 27 September 1674 and is buried in St Mary's Church under the reading desk.


Traherne was an inconsequential literary figure during his life, whose works were ... more »

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  • ''It is of the nobility of man's soul that he is insatiable: for he hath a benefactor so prone to give, that he delighteth in us for asking. Do not your inclinations tell you that the WORLD is yours?''
    Thomas Traherne (1636-1674), British clergyman, poet, mystic. Centuries, "First Century," no. 22 (written c. 1672, first published 1908).
  • ''The corn was orient and immortal wheat, which never should be reaped, nor was ever sown. I thought it had stood from everlasting to everlasting.''
    Thomas Traherne (1636-1674), British clergyman, poet, mystic. Centuries, "Third Century, no. 3 (written c. 1672, first published 1908). Referring ...
  • ''A little grit in the eye destroyeth the sight of the very heavens, and a little malice or envy a world of joys. One wry principle in the mind is of infinite consequence.''
    Thomas Traherne (1636-1674), British clergyman, poet, mystic. Centuries, "Fourth Century," no. 17 (written c. 1672, first published 1908).
  • ''This moment exhibits infinite space, but there is a space also wherein all moments are infinitely exhibited, and the everlasting duration of infinite space is another region and room of joys.''
    Thomas Traherne (1636-1674), British clergyman, poet, mystic. "Fifth Century," no. 6, Centuries (written c. 1672, published 1908).
  • ''An empty book is like an infant's soul, in which anything may be written. It is capable of all things, but containeth nothing. I have a mind to fill this with profitable wonders.''
    Thomas Traherne (1636-1674), British clergyman, poet, mystic. "First Century," no. 1, Centuries (written c. 1672, first published 1908).
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  • Rookie Rafiqa Darr (5/14/2011 9:14:00 AM)

    I love Thomas Traherne and all his works, not just his poetry but also his prose called Centuries of Meditations. I got the book (Centuries of Meditations) recently and it overwhelmed me completely, it is the best book I have ever read and the best thing I own. If you want to feel good about yourself - read Traherne's works, especially Centuries of Meditations. Does anybody know of the poem called Thanksgivings for the Body and can they post it, so I could read it?

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Best Poem of Thomas Traherne


But that which most I wonder at, which most
I did esteem my bliss, which most I boast,
And ever shall enjoy, is that within
I felt no stain, nor spot of sin.

No darkness then did overshade,
But all within was pure and bright,
No guilt did crush, nor fear invade
But all my soul was full of light.

A joyful sense and purity
Is all I can remember;
The very night to me was bright,
'Twas summer in December.

A serious meditation did employ
My soul within, which taken up with joy
Did seem no outward thing to note, but fly
All objects that do ...

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