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Jerusalem

    AND did those feet in ancient time
    Walk upon England's mountains green?
    And was the holy Lamb of God
    On England's pleasant pastures seen?

    And did the Countenance Divine
    Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
    And was Jerusalem builded here
    Among these dark Satanic mills?

    Bring me my bow of burning gold:
    Bring me my arrows of desire:
    Bring me my spear: O clouds unfold!
    Bring me my chariot of fire.

    I will not cease from mental fight,
    Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand
    Till we have built Jerusalem
    In England's green and pleasant land.

    William Blake

Auguries of Innocence

    TO see a World in a Grain of Sand
    And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
    Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
    And Eternity in an hour.

    A Robin Red breast in a Cage
    Puts all Heaven in a Rage.
    A dove house fill'd with doves & Pigeons
    Shudders Hell thro' all its regions.
    A dog starv'd at his Master's Gate
    Predicts the ruin of the State.
    A Horse misus'd upon the Road
    Calls to Heaven for Human blood.
    Each outcry of the hunted Hare
    A fibre from the Brain does tear.
    A Skylark wounded in the wing,
    A Cherubim does cease to sing.
    The Game Cock clipp'd and arm'd for fight
    Does the Rising Sun affright.
    Every Wolf's & Lion's howl
    Raises from Hell a Human Soul.
    The wild deer, wand'ring here & there,
    Keeps the Human Soul from Care.
    The Lamb misus'd breeds public strife
    And yet forgives the Butcher's Knife.
    The Bat that flits at close of Eve
    Has left the Brain that won't believe.
    The Owl that calls upon the Night
    Speaks the Unbeliever's fright.
    He who shall hurt the little Wren
    Shall never be belov'd by Men.
    He who the Ox to wrath has mov'd
    Shall never be by Woman lov'd.
    The wanton Boy that kills the Fly
    Shall feel the Spider's enmity.
    He who torments the Chafer's sprite
    Weaves a Bower in endless Night.
    The Catterpillar on the Leaf
    Repeats to thee thy Mother's grief.
    Kill not the Moth nor Butterfly,
    For the Last Judgement draweth nigh.
    He who shall train the Horse to War
    Shall never pass the Polar Bar.
    The Beggar's Dog & Widow's Cat,
    Feed them & thou wilt grow fat.
    The Gnat that sings his Summer's song
    Poison gets from Slander's tongue.
    The poison of the Snake & Newt
    Is the sweat of Envy's Foot.
    The poison of the Honey Bee
    Is the Artist's Jealousy.
    The Prince's Robes & Beggars' Rags
    Are Toadstools on the Miser's Bags.
    A truth that's told with bad intent
    Beats all the Lies you can invent.
    It is right it should be so;
    Man was made for Joy & Woe;
    And when this we rightly know
    Thro' the World we safely go.
    Joy & Woe are woven fine,
    A Clothing for the Soul divine;
    Under every grief & pine
    Runs a joy with silken twine.
    The Babe is more than swadling Bands;
    Throughout all these Human Lands
    Tools were made, & born were hands,
    Every Farmer Understands.
    Every Tear from Every Eye
    Becomes a Babe in Eternity.
    This is caught by Females bright
    And return'd to its own delight.
    The Bleat, the Bark, Bellow & Roar
    Are Waves that Beat on Heaven's Shore.
    The Babe that weeps the Rod beneath
    Writes Revenge in realms of death.
    The Beggar's Rags, fluttering in Air,
    Does to Rags the Heavens tear.
    The Soldier arm'd with Sword & Gun,
    Palsied strikes the Summer's Sun.
    The poor Man's Farthing is worth more
    Than all the Gold on Afric's Shore.
    One Mite wrung from the Labrer's hands
    Shall buy & sell the Miser's lands:
    Or, if protected from on high,
    Does that whole Nation sell & buy.
    He who mocks the Infant's Faith
    Shall be mock'd in Age & Death.
    He who shall teach the Child to Doubt
    The rotting Grave shall ne'er get out.
    He who respects the Infant's faith
    Triumph's over Hell & Death.
    The Child's Toys & the Old Man's Reasons
    Are the Fruits of the Two seasons.
    The Questioner, who sits so sly,
    Shall never know how to Reply.
    He who replies to words of Doubt
    Doth put the Light of Knowledge out.
    The Strongest Poison ever known
    Came from Caesar's Laurel Crown.
    Nought can deform the Human Race
    Like the Armour's iron brace.
    When Gold & Gems adorn the Plow
    To peaceful Arts shall Envy Bow.
    A Riddle or the Cricket's Cry
    Is to Doubt a fit Reply.
    The Emmet's Inch & Eagle's Mile
    Make Lame Philosophy to smile.
    He who Doubts from what he sees
    Will ne'er believe, do what you Please.
    If the Sun & Moon should doubt
    They'd immediately Go out.
    To be in a Passion you Good may do,
    But no Good if a Passion is in you.
    The Whore & Gambler, by the State
    Licenc'd, build that Nation's Fate.
    The Harlot's cry from Street to Street
    Shall weave Old England's winding Sheet.
    The Winner's Shout, the Loser's Curse,
    Dance before dead England's Hearse.
    Every Night & every Morn
    Some to Misery are Born.
    Every Morn & every Night
    Some are Born to sweet Delight.
    Some ar Born to sweet Delight,
    Some are born to Endless Night.
    We are led to Believe a Lie
    When we see not Thro' the Eye
    Which was Born in a Night to Perish in a Night
    When the Soul Slept in Beams of Light.
    God Appears & God is Light
    To those poor Souls who dwell in the Night,
    But does a Human Form Display
    To those who Dwell in Realms of day.

    William Blake

Song: My silks and fine array

    MY silks and fine array,
    My smiles and languished air,
    By love are driven away;
    And mournful lean Despair
    Brings me yew to deck my grave:
    Such end true lovers have.

    His face is fair as heaven
    When springing buds unfold;
    O, why to him was't given
    Whose heart is wintry cold?
    His breast is love's all-worshipped tomb,
    Where all love's pilgrims come.

    Bring me an axe and spade,
    Bring me a winding-sheet;
    When I my grade have made,
    Let winds and tempest beat:
    Then down I'll lie, as cold as clay.
    True love doth pass away!

    William Blake

The Two Songs

    I HEARD an Angel Singing
    When the day was springing:
    "Mercy, pity, and peace,
    Are the world's release."

    So he sang all day
    Over the new-mown hay,
    Till the sun went down,
    And the haycocks looked brown.

    I heard a devil curse
    Over the heath and the furse:
    "Mercy vould be no more
    If there were nobody poor,
    And pity no more could be
    If all were happy as ye:
    And mutual fear brings peace,
    Misery's increase
    Are mercy, pity, and peace."

    At his curse the sun went down,
    And the heavens gave a frown.

    William Blake

Love's Secret

    NEVER seek to tell thy love,
    Love that never told can be;
    For the gentle wind doth move
    Silently, invisibly.

    I told my love, I told my love,
    I told her all my heart,
    Trembling, cold, in ghastly fears,
    Ah! she did depart!

    Soon after she was gone from me
    A traveller came by,
    Silently, invisibly,
    He took her with a sigh.

    William Blake

To the Evening Star

    THOU fair-haired Angel of the Evening,
    Now, whilst the sun rests on the mountains, light
    Thy bright torch of love--thy radiant crown
    Put on, and smile upon our evening bed!
    Smile on our loves; and, while thou drawest the
    Blue curtains of the sky, scatter thy silver dew
    On every flower that shuts its sweet eyes
    In timely sleep. Let thy West Wind sleep on
    The lake; speak silence with thy glimmering eyes,
    And wash the dusk with silver.--Soon, full soon,
    Dost thou withdraw; then the wolf rages wide,
    And the lion glares through the dun forest:
    The fleeces of our flocks are covered with
    Thy sacred dew; protect them with thine influence!

    William Blake

To Morning

    O HOLY virgin! clad in purest white,
    Unlock heaven's golden gates and issue forth
    Awake the dawn that sleeps in heaven; let light
    Rise from the chambers of the east, and bring
    The honey'd dew that cometh on waking day.
    O radiant morning, salute the sun,
    Roused like a huntsman to the chase, and with
    Thy buskin'd feet appear upon our hills.

    William Blake

Fair Eleanor

    THE bell struck one and shook the silent tower
    The graves give up their dead: fair Eleanor
    Walk'd by the castle-gate, and looked in:
    A hollow groan ran thro' the dreary vaults.

    She shriek'd aloud, and sunk upon the steps,
    On the cold stone her pale cheek. Sickly smells
    Of death, issue as from a sepulchre,
    And all is silent but the sighing vaults.

    Chill death withdraws his hand, and she revives;
    Amazed she finds herself upon her feet,
    And, like a ghost, thro' narrow passages
    Walking, feeling the cold walls with her hands.

    Fancy returns, and now she thinks of bones
    And grinning skulls, and corruptible death
    Wrapt in his shroud; and now fancies she hears
    Deep sighs, and sees pale sickly ghosts gliding.

    At length, no fancy, but reality
    Distracts her. A rushing sound, and the feet
    Of one that fled, approaches.--Ellen stood,
    Like a dumb statue, froze to stone with fear.

    The wretch approaches, crying, "The deed is done;
    "Take this, and send it by whom thou wilt send;
    "It is my life--send it to Eleanor--
    "He's dead, and howling after me for blood!

    "Take this," he cried; and thrust into her arms
    A wet napkin, wrapt about; then rush'd
    Past, howling: she received into her arms
    Pale death, and follow'd on the wings of fear.

    They pass'd swift thro' the outer gate; the wretch,
    Howling, leap'd o'er the wall into the moat,
    Stifling in mud. Fair Ellen pass'd the bridge,
    And heard a gloomy voice cry, "Is it done ?"

    As the deer wounded Ellen flew over
    The pathless plain as the arrows that fly
    By night; destruction flies, and strikes in darkness.
    She fled from fear, till at her house arrived.

    Her maids await her on her bed she falls,
    That bed of joy where erst her lord hath press'd:
    "Ah, woman's fear!" she cried, "Ah, cursed duke!
    "Ah, my dear lord! ah, wretched Eleanor!

    "My lord was like a flower upon the brows
    "Of lusty May! Ah, life as frail as flower!
    "O ghastly death! withdraw thy cruel hand,
    "Seek'st thou that flower to deck thy horrid temples?

    "My lord was like a star in highest heaven
    "Drawn down to earth by spells and wickedness;
    "My lord was like the opening eyes of day,
    "When western winds creep softly o'er the flowers.

    "But he is darken'd; like the summer's noon
    "Clouded; fall'n like the stately tree, cut down;
    "The breath of heaven dwelt among his leaves.
    "O Eleanor, weak woman, fill'd with woe!"

    Thus having spoke, she raised up her head,
    And saw the bloody napkin by her side,
    Which in her arms she brought; and now, tenfold
    More terrified, saw it unfold itself.

    Her eyes were fix'd; the bloody cloth unfolds,
    Disclosing to her sight the murder'd head
    Of her dear lord, all ghastly pale, clotted
    With gory blood it groan'd, and thus it spake:

    "O Eleanor, behold thy husband's head
    "Who, sleeping on the stones of yonder tower,
    "Was 'reft of life by the accursed duke!
    "A hired villain turn'd my sleep to death!

    "O Eleanor, beware the cursed duke,
    "O give not him thy hand, now I am dead;
    "He seeks thy love who, coward, in the night,
    "Hired a villain to bereave my life."

    She sat with dead cold limbs, stiffen'd to stone
    She took the gory head up in her arms;
    She kiss'd the pale lips; she had no tears to shed ;
    She hugg'd it to her breast, and groan'd her last.

    William Blake

Song: How sweet I roamed from field to field

    HOW sweet I roam'd from field to field
    And tasted all the summer's pride,
    Till I the Prince of Love beheld
    Who in the sunny beams did glide.

    He shew'd me lilies for my hair,
    And blushing roses for my brow;
    He led me thro' his gardens fair
    Where all his golden pleasures grow.

    With sweet May-dews my wings were wet,
    And Phoebus fired my vocal rage;
    He caught me in his silken net,
    And shut me in his golden cage.

    He loves to sit and hear me sing,
    Then, laughing, sports and plays with me;
    Then stretches out my golden wing
    And mocks my loss of liberty.

    William Blake

Song: Love and harmony combine

    LOVE and harmony combine
    And around our souls entwine,
    While thy branches mix with mine
    And our roots together join.

    Joys upon our branches sit
    Chirping loud and singing sweet;
    Like gentle streams beneath our feet
    Innocence and virtue meet.

    Thou the golden fruit dost bear,
    I am clad in flowers fair;
    Thy sweet boughs perfume the air,
    And the turtle buildeth there.

    There she sits and feeds her young,
    Sweet I hear her mournful song;
    And thy lovely leaves among
    There is love; I hear his tongue.

    There his charming nest doth lay,
    There he sleeps the night away
    There he sports along the day
    And doth among our branches play.

    William Blake

Song: I love the jocund dance

    I LOVE the jocund dance,
    The softly-breathing song,
    Where innocent eyes do glance
    And where lisps the maiden's tongue.

    I love the laughing vale,
    I love the echoing hill,
    Where mirth does never fail,
    And the jolly swain laughs his fill.

    I love the pleasant cot,
    I love the innocent bower,
    Where white and brown is our lot
    Or fruit in the mid-day hour.

    I love the oaken seat,
    Beneath the oaken tree,
    Where all the old villagers meet,
    And laugh our sports to see.

    I love our neighbours all,
    But, Kitty, I better love thee
    And love them I ever shall,
    But thou art all to me.

    William Blake

Song: Memory, come hither

    MEMORY, come hither
    And tune your merry notes;
    And while upon the wind
    Your music floats
    I'll pore upon the stream
    Where sighing lovers dream,
    And fish for fancies as they pass
    Within the watery glass.

    I'll drink of the clear stream
    And hear the linnet's song,
    And there I'll lie and dream
    The day along:
    And, when night comes, I'll go
    To places fit for woe
    Walking along the darken'd valley
    With silent Melancholy.

    William Blake

Mad Song

    THE wild winds weep,
    And the night is a-cold;
    Come hither, Sleep,
    And my griefs enfold:
    But lo! the morning peeps
    Over the eastern steeps,
    And the rustling beds of dawn
    The earth do scorn.

    Lo! to the vault
    Of paved heaven,
    With sorrow fraught
    My notes are driven:
    They strike the ear of night,
    Make weep the eyes of day;
    They make mad the roaring winds,
    And with tempests play.

    Like a fiend in a cloud
    With howling woe,
    After night I do crowd
    And with night will go;
    I turn my back to the east
    From whence comforts have increased;
    For light doth seize my brain
    With frantic pain.

    William Blake

Song: When early morn walks forth in sober gray

    WHEN early morn walks forth in sober gray,
    Then to my black-eyed maid I haste away,
    When evening sits beneath her dusky bower
    And gently sighs away the silent hour,
    The village bell alarms, away I go,
    And the vale darkens at my pensive woe.

    To that sweet village, where my black-eyed maid
    Doth drop a tear beneath the silent shade,
    I turn my eyes; and pensive as I go
    Curse my black stars, and bless my pleasing woe.

    Oft when the summer sleeps among the trees,
    Whispering faint murmurs to the scanty breeze,
    I walk the village round; if at her side
    A youth doth walk in stolen joy and pride,
    I curse my stars in bitter grief and woe,
    That made my love so high, and me so low.

    O should she e'er prove false, his limbs I'd tear,
    And throw all pity on the burning air;
    I'd curse bright fortune for my mixed lot,
    And then I'd die in peace, and be forgot.

    William Blake

To the Muses

    WHETHER on Ida's shady brow
    Or in the chambers of the East,
    The chambers of the Sun, that now
    From ancient melody have ceased;

    Whether in heaven ye wander fair
    Or the green corners of the earth,
    Or the blue regions of the air,
    Where the melodious winds have birth;
    Whether on crystal rocks ye rove,
    Beneath the bosom of the sea
    Wandering in many a coral grove,
    Fair Nine, forsaking Poetry;

    How have you left the ancient love
    That bards of old enjoy'd in you!
    The languid strings do scarcely move,
    The sound is forced, the notes are few!

    William Blake

Fresh from the dewy hill

    FRESH from the dewy hill, the merry year
    Smiles on my head and mounts his flaming car;
    Round my young brows the laurel wreathes a shade
    And rising glories beam around my head.

    My feet are wing'd while o'er the dewy lawn
    I meet my maiden risen like the morn.
    Oh bless those holy feet, like angels' feet;
    Oh bless those limbs, beaming with heavenly light!

    Like as an angel glittering in the sky
    In times of innocence and holy joy;
    The joyful shepherd stops his grateful song
    To hear the music of an angel's tongue.

    So when she speaks, the voice of Heaven I hear;
    So when we walk, nothing impure comes near;
    Each field seems Eden, and each calm retreat;
    Each village seems the haunt of holy feet.

    But that sweet village, where my black-eyed maid
    Closes her eyes in sleep beneath night's shade,
    Whene'er I enter, more than mortal fire
    Burns in my soul, and does my song inspire.

    William Blake


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