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Very Good. Few anthologies still include Traherne among the august ranks of Herbert, Donne and Vaughan. His rhymes have been criticized as inferior, his voice routinely reproved for its lack of doubt and anxiety. Yet on closer examination (as his manuscripts continue to be discovered in burning book piles and the cobwebbed recesses of university libraries), modern scholarship reveals Traherne ''the naive woodland warbler'' to be Traherne the public priest, scholar and theologian--a man concerned with the struggles of his day. Well-acquainted with the Cambridge Platonists, Traherne's verse also carries strains of Augustine, Gregory of Nyssa, Irenaeus, Francis Bacon and Thomas á Kempis. Much of his poetry seems to anticipate literary progenies Wordsworth and Blake, who could not have been familiar with his work but whose own poems echo his themes of innocence and experience. Yet Traherne's voice remains singular. There is something transcendent in it. To quote Ms. Inge in the introduction, ''He speaks of a world most of us only remember as if it were his present and his futureait is his constant vision. '' Included here are selections from the Centuries, Thanksgivings, Ceremonial Law, Christian Ethicks, Meditations, Commentaries of Heaven, and the Burney and Lambeth Manuscripts. One of his more rapturous passages follows (from the Third Century). 'The corn was Orient and Immortal Wheat, which never should be reaped, no was ever sown. I thought it had stood from Everlasting to Everlasting. The Dust and Stones of the Street were as Precious as GOLD. The Gates were at first the End of the World, The Green Trees when I saw them first through one of the Gates Transported and Ravished meaall things abided Eternaly as they were in their Proper Places. Eternity was manifest in the Light of the Day, and som thing infinit Behind evry thing appeared: which talked with my Expectation and moved my Desire. ' Light to moderate cover wear, firm binding, unmarked text.
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