Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Restoration Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Restoration Verse.  1910.
 
On News
By Thomas Traherne (1637?–1674)
 
NEWS from a foreign country came,
As if my treasure and my wealth lay there:
So much it did my heart enflame
’Twas wont to call my soul into mine ear,
  Which thither went to meet        5
    The approaching sweet,
  And on the threshold stood,
To entertain the unknown Good.
    It hovered there
  As if ’twould leave mine ear,        10
  And was so eager to embrace
  The joyful tidings as they came,
  ’Twould almost leave its dwelling-place,
    To entertain that same.
 
  As if the tidings were the things,        15
My very joys themselves, my foreign treasure,
  Or else did bear them on their wings;
With so much joy they came, with so much pleasure.
    My Soul stood at that gate
      To recreate        20
    Itself with bliss: and to
  Be pleased with speed. A fuller view
      It fain would take,
    Yet journeys back would make
  Unto my heart: as if ’twere fain        25
  Go out to meet, yet stay within
  To fit a place, to entertain,
    And bring the tidings in.
 
  What sacred instinct did inspire
My Soul in childhood with a hope so strong?        30
  What secret force moved my desire
To expect my joys beyond the seas, so young?
    Felicity I knew
      Was out of view:
    And being here alone,        35
  I saw that happiness was gone
      From me! For this,
    I thirsted absent bliss,
  And thought that sure beyond the seas,
  Or else in something near at hand        40
  I knew not yet, (since nought did please
    I knew) my Bliss did stand.
 
  But little did the infant dream
That all the treasures of the world were by:
  And that himself was so the cream        45
And crown of all which round about did lie.
    Yet thus it was: The gem,
      The diadem,
    The ring enclosing all
  That stood upon this earthly ball;        50
    The Heavenly Eye,
    Much wider than the sky,
  Wherein they all included were,
  The glorious Soul that was the King
  Made to possess them, did appear        55
    A small and little thing!
 
 
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