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Poem by Thomas Traherne
On Leaping Over the Moon
I saw new worlds beneath the water lie, New people; ye, another sky And sun, which seen by day Might things more clear display. Just such another Of late my brother Did in his travel see, and saw by night A much more strange and wondrous sight; Nor could the world exhibit such another So great a sight but in a brother. Adventure strange! No such in story we New or old, true or feigned, see. On earth he seemed to move, Yet heaven went above; Up in the skies His body flies In open, visible, yet magic, sort; As he along the way did sport, Over the flood he takes his nimble course Without the help of feigned horse. As he went tripping o'er the king's highway, A little pearly river lay, O'er which, he dared to swim, Swim through the air On body fair; He would not trust Icarian wings, Lest they should prove deceitful things; For had he fall'n, it had been wondrous high, Not from, but from above, the sky. He might have dropped through that thin element Into a fathomless descent; Unto the nether sky That did beneath him lie, And there might tell What wonders dwell On earth above. Yet doth he briskly run, And, bold, the danger overcome; Who, as he leapt, with joy related soon How happy he o'erleapt the moon. What wondrous things upon the earth are done Beneath, and yet above, the sun! Deeds all appear again In higher spheres; remain In clouds as yet, But there they get Another light, and in another way Themselves to us above display. The skies themselves this earthly globe surround; We're even here within them found. On heav'nly ground within the skies we walk, And in this middle center talk: Did we but wisely move, On earth in heav'n above, Then soon should we Exalted be Above the sky; from whence whoever falls, Through a long dismal precipice Sinks to the deep abyss where Satan crawls, Where horrid death and despair lies. As much as others thought themselves to lie Beneath the moon, so much more high Himself he thought to fly Above the starry sky, As that he spied Below the tide. Thus did he yield me in the shady night A wondrous and instructive light, Which taught me that under our feet there is, As o'er our heads, a place of bliss.
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