by Thomas Traherne (1637? - 1674)

The Salutation
Language: English 
These little limbs, these eyes and hands which I here find,
This panting heart wherewith my life begins;
Where have ye been?  Behind what curtain were ye from me hid so long?
Where was, in what abyss, my new made tongue? 

When silent I so many thousand thousand years
Beneath the dust did in a chaos lie, how could I smiles, or tears, 
Or lips, or hands, or eyes, or ears perceive? 
Welcome, ye treasures which I now receive.

From dust from I rise and out of nothing now awake,
These brighter regions which salute my eyes,
A gift from God I take, the earth, the seas, the light, the lofty skies,
The sun and stars are mine: if these I prize.

A stranger here, strange things doth meet, strange glory see,
Strange treasures lodged in this fair world appear,
Strange, all, and new to me: But that they mine should be who nothing was,
That strangest is of all; yet brought to pass.


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Researcher for this text: Anne Ozorio

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 16
Word count: 164