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