A Serious and Pathetical Contemplation of the Mercies of God

Original Text: 
Thomas Traherne, A Serious and Pathetical Contemplation of the Mercies of God, in Several Most Devout and Sublime Thanksgivings for the Same (1699).
For all the mysteries, engines, instruments, wherewith the world is filled, which we are able to frame and use to thy glory.
For all the trades, variety of operations, cities, temples, streets, bridges, mariner's compass, admirable picture, sculpture, writing, printing, songs and music; wherewith the world is beautified and adorned.
2          And power of perception,
3               Which rules within.
4     That secret depth of fathomless consideration
5          That receives the information
7     That makes our centre equal to the heavens,
8          And comprehendeth in itself the magnitude of the world;
9               The involv'd mysteries
10                    Of our common sense;
11               The inaccessible secret
12                    Of perceptive fancy;
13               The repository and treasury
14                    Of things that are past;
16                    Thy name be glorified
18                    O miracle
19                         Of divine goodness!
20               O fire! O flame of zeal, and love, and joy!
21          Ev'n for our earthly bodies, hast thou created all things.
22                                 { visible
23          All things { material
24                                 { sensible
25               Animals,
26               Vegetables,
27               Minerals,
28          Bodies celestial,
29          Bodies terrestrial,
30          The four elements,
31          Volatile spirits,
32     Trees, herbs, and flowers,
33          The influences of heaven,
34     Clouds, vapors, wind,
35          Dew, rain, hail and snow,
36     Light and darkness, night and day,
37          The seasons of the year.
38Springs, rivers, fountains, oceans,
39     Gold, silver, and precious stones.
40          Corn, wine, and oil,
41     The sun, moon, and stars,
42          Cities, nations, kingdoms.
43And the bodies of men, the greatest treasures of all,
44          For each other.
45What then, O Lord, hast thou intended for our
46Souls, who givest to our bodies such glorious things!


1] Pathetical: vehement, full of passion. Back to Line
6] regent: ruling, governing. Back to Line
15] common sense: senses that are common to man. Back to Line
17] perceptive fancy: imagination. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
N. J. Endicott
RPO Edition: 
3RP 1.377-78.