Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of English Verse
Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919. The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.
Thomas Traherne. 1637?–1674
406. News
    NEWS from a foreign country came 
As if my treasure and my wealth lay there; 
    So much it did my heart inflame, 
'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 hover'd 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 'twould 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 naught 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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