Erasing Traherne

by Bill Yarrow

1.      An empty soul is capable of all things.

2.      We love the loadstone of desire.

3.      I open my mouth that the interior may appear.

4.      I will lead you into paths where appear angels.

5.      Contemplation is the method of fruition.

6.      True love and virtue contemn the world.

7.      Confusions give leave.

8.      What is in this well of habit?

9.      Mind is difficult to retain.

10.  To have is the end of desire.

11.  The world and I rejoice.

12.  All things were made to be created.

13.  We are the things of darkness.

14.  When things are in their proper places, the earth itself is gold.

15.  Alone. Alone. Alone.

16.  Your inclinations manifest rich ignorance.

17.  To know God is to know terror.

18.  The world is a happy loss.

19.  You never know yourself till you know the dust.

20.  The laws of God are magnified among angels.

21.  For there is a disease in him who can never be happy.

22.  The stars are no more than so many tennis-balls.

23.  Men are marvelously irrational.

24.  Is it not a sweet thing to have all ambition removed?

25.  The world can take too much joy in reason.

26.  Things of the mind, nourished of moisture, feast upon an empty husk.

27.  I take pleasure in benefits infinite and eternal.

28.  Enjoyment is never delight.

29.  You perceive yourself to be the sole heir of the world.

30.  Your private estate was the palace of your glory.

31.  There is much damned folly in the world.

32.  Can any invent ways to make tinseled riches?

33.  Truth is able to turn one's stomach.

34.  Jewels, resplendent like the stars, transparent like the air, pellucid like the sea, are nothing.

35.  Works of joy delight the world.

36.  All the foundations of the world are seducing Eden.

37.  We need to be ravished that all regions should be full of joys.

38.  The height of God's perfection: HE implanted in your nature a worm.

39.  Honey and honeycomb command you to be glorious.

40.  Socrates, being heathen, knew joy.

41.  Were there no needs, gods might be satisfied.

42.  Infinite want wanted companions.

43.  I must lead you into felicity.

44.  Empty wants cloy.

45.  Wants enjoy joys.

46.  Be sensible of what you extinguished or you shall be a hell.

47.  To have blessings is to be irrational.

48.  No misery is greater than to see all the earth as the world.

49.  Is not he most miserable that is most asleep?

50.  Upon earth, we learn nothing but hell.

51.  Treasures are the ligatures between our wants and love.

52.  Love is necessity.

53.  You ought to see.

54.  He is desolate before universities.

55.  The contemplation of the present age is deluge.

56.  The elixir of this world is the idle contemplation of man.

57.  Eagles are drawn by the scent of commodity.

58.  The abyss of desires: the place of happiness.

59.  If love be a malefactor, eternity is the spectacle wherein all things appear sprinkled in blood. 

60.  Saints set on fire illuminateth the world.

61.  Contempt is requisite for all things in heaven.

62.  What shall I render thee? Perfect wrath, all sharpness, and understanding transient.

63.  Ineffable are the misery and happiness of the skull.

64.  Orifices covered with filth of beasts and fowls and fishes, all for me.

65.  What a confluence of nothing.

66.  Is not sight ingratitude?

67.  What could I desire, for I am creating an object prone to be sublime?

68.  Love loves love.

69.  Thou hast given me my desires, infinitely infinite.

70.  Desire promoteth heart.

71.  There is no defense against necessity.

72.  A comprehension insatiable, never fitted for measure.

73.  Desire urgeth insufficiency never to decay.

74.  Here is a kingdom where all are knit in images.

75.  I was deceived by appetite and fell into suffering.

76.  At what rate hast thou restored me to my life?

77.  I admire sufferings of sinners.

78.  Violent glory was created for government.

79.  I cannot moderate this particular to knit together honor.

80.  The only enjoyment I desire is to delight in a nest of repose.

81.  A cold-water deed is a stone.

82.  Your companions in fame are like heaps of rubbish.

83.  They turn the world into heaven who represent delight.

84.  Why be?

85.  They despise themselves and do not live.

86.  I admire understanding, passion, and tears.

87.  O, let me be a mirror.

88.  O, let us rend the sun and let the sun be dark.

89.  O, dismal spectacle! A mass of miseries and silence: a loving spouse.

90.  Most oriently, in most lively colors, appeared our sad estate.

91.  To drown the pains of hell, I suffer torments more vehement than love.

92.  Nothing is immediately near, nor is it possible to remove it.

93.  My body is a chaos, a dark heap of empty faculties.

94.  Human will is the whole family, the breadth and length and depth and height.

95.  A rushing wind may overflow the means of peace and felicity.

96.  I have loved in the near and inward room.

97.  Residue delights me.

98.  I can never be infinite comfort.

99.  We are a peculiar people, zealous of darkness.

100.  Things dead seeth their value.

[1] A poem created by erasing sentences, phrases, and words from each of the 100 prose stanzas of "The First Century" of Centuries of Meditations by Thomas Traherne.