The Traherne Association welcomes you to this site which celebrates and promotes the life and work of the poet and spiritual writer Thomas Traherne (c1637 - 1674).

Musical settings of Thomas Traherne

Andrew Morris (b.1953)

Awaking in Heaven

This consists of settings for baritone and piano of ‘Enjoying the World Aright’, ‘Pardon my Ingratitude’ and ‘Awaking in Heaven’ – (Centuries of Meditation – I.29; I.66; I.28)

Published: Leominster Festival Commission (1995)

A Life of Sabbaths here beneath

This 8-part a capella anthem was first performed by members of Exaudi at the Dartington Summer School in 2010. The work sets the untitled poem found in Centuries of Meditations (III,47).

A life of Sabbaths here beneath!
Continual Jubilees and Joys!
The Days of Heaven, while we breath
On Earth! Where Sin all Bliss Destroys.
This is a Triumph of Delights!
That doth exceed all Appetites.
No joy can be Compard to this,
It is a Life of Perfect Bliss.

Of perfect Bliss! How can it be?
To Conquer Satan, and to Reign
In such a vale of Miserie,
Where Vipers, Stings and Tears remain;
Is to be Crownd with Victorie.
To be Content, Divine and free,
Even here beneath is Great Delight
And next the Beatifick Sight.

But inward lusts do oft assail,
Temptations Work us much Annoy.
Weel therefore Weep, and to prevail
Shall be a more Celestial Joy.
To hav no other Enemie,
But one; and to that one to Die:
To fight with that and Conquer it,
Is better then in Peace to sit.

Tis Better for a little time:
For he that all His Lusts doth quell,
Shall find this Life to be His Prime,
And Vanquish Sin and Conquer Hell.
The Next shall be His Double Joy:
And that which here seemd to Destroy,
Shall in the Other Life appear
A Root of Bliss; a Pearl each Tear.

Published: Saints of Hereford Motets April 2011

Recorded: A performance of this piece may be heard on the Herefordshire composers’ website (

The Sun must burn

A setting for SATB of verses 4 and 6 from an untitled Traherne poem that appears in the chapter Activity in Commentaries of Heaven. This piece is one of the "Saints of Hereford Motets".

The SUN must burn, and cannot chuse but shine;
Remove its Rays,
Remove its All. It doth it self refine,
Promote, Delight, Exalt, and Clothe with Prais,
It Crowns it self by shedding forth its Rays.

Just so is Man. He needs must burning shine,
His Life is Love
To live that Life His Soul was made Divine;
Who cannot chuse but like the Sun above,
Be Burning still, and som thing needs must love.

Published: Saints of Hereford Motets April 2011