Note 1. The Ways of Blessedness was printed in the former edition of this book among anonymous poems; but Mr Dobell has traced the authorship to Traherne. The second piece is an extract from a much longer poem entitled The Recovery. Trahernes poetry has some remarkable qualities, suggesting on one side Vaughan, on another Blake, and on another Norris of Bemerton. He plainly wrote with ease, and he writes at great length; but he repeats his thoughts and his rhymes again and again. His central idea is that the whole universe was created for mans delight, and fails of its purpose if man is not delighted with it. Several of his poems describe the joys of life, especially in innocent childhood, sometimes with quaint particularity. Thus:
New burnisht joys
Which yellow gold and pearls excel!
Such sacred treasure are the limbs in boys
In which a soul doth dwell!
Their organised joints and azure veins
More wealth include than all the world contains.
The streets were paved with golden stones,
The boys and girls were mine;
O how did all their lovely faces shine!
The sons of men were holy ones;
In joy and beauty they appeared to me,
And everything which here I found,
While like an angel I did see,
Adorned the ground.
Cursed and devised proprieties,
With envy, avarice,
And frauds, those frauds that spoil een Paradise,