Within our inward temple

by chuckofish


What powerful Spirit lives within!
What active Angel doth inhabit here!
What heavenly light inspires my skin,
Which doth so like a Deity appear!
A living Temple of all ages, I
Within me see
A Temple of Eternity!
All Kingdoms I descry
In me.

An inward Omnipresence here
Mysteriously like His within me stands,
Whose knowledge is a Sacred Sphere
That in itself at once includes all lands.
There is some Angel that within me can
Both talk and move,
And walk and fly and see and love,
A man on earth, a man

Dull walls of clay my Spirit leaves,
And in a foreign Kingdom doth appear,
This great Apostle it receives,
Admires His works and sees them, standing here,
Within myself from East to West I move
As if I were
At once a Cherubim and Sphere,
Or was at once above
And here.

The Soul’s a messenger whereby
Within our inward Temple we may be
Even like the very Deity
In all the parts of His Eternity.
O live within and leave unwieldy dross!
Flesh is but clay!
O fly my Soul and haste away
To Jesus’ Throne or Cross!

–Thomas Traherne, An Hymn Upon St. Bartholomew’s Day

In commemoration of his poems and spiritual writings, Thomas Traherne is included in the anglican calendar of saints. Today is his feast day (in the Episcopal Church) and this is the collect for the day:

“Creator of wonder and majesty, who didst inspire thy poet Thomas Traherne with mystical insight to see thy glory in the natural world and in the faces of men and women around us: Help us to know thee in thy creation and in our neighbors, and to understand our obligations to both, that we may ever grow into the people thou hast created us to be; through our Savior Jesus Christ, who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, in everlasting light. Amen.”

The stained glass window is one of the four Traherne Windows in Audley Chapel, Hereford Cathedral, created by stained-glass artist Tom Denny in 2007.


And I just thought this was really nice: