Auguries of Innocence
To the Muses
I wandered through each chartered street, Near where the chartered Thames does flow, A mark in every face I meet, Marks of weakness, marks of woe. In every cry of every man, In every infant's cry of fear, In every voice, in every ban, The mind-forged manacles I hear: How the chimney-sweeper's cry Every blackening church appals, And the hapless soldier's sigh Runs in blood down palace-walls. But most, through midnight streets I hear How the youthful harlot's curse Blasts the new-born infant's tear, And blights with plagues the marriage-hearse.
Never seek to tell thy love, Love that never told can be; For the gentle wind does 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 as she was gone from me, A traveler came by, Silently, invisibly He took her with a sigh.
My Spectre around me night and day Like a wild beast guards my way; My Emanation far within Weeps incessantly for my sin. ‘A fathomless and boundless deep, There we wander, there we weep; On the hungry craving wind My Spectre follows thee behind. ‘He scents thy footsteps in the snow Wheresoever thou dost go, Thro’ the wintry hail and rain. When wilt thou return again? ’Dost thou not in pride and scorn Fill with tempests all my morn, And with jealousies and fears Fill my pleasant nights with tears? ‘Seven of my sweet loves thy knife Has bereavèd of their life. Their marble tombs I built with tears, And with cold and shuddering fears. ‘Seven more loves weep night and day Round the tombs where my loves lay, And seven more loves attend each night Around my couch with torches bright. ‘And seven more loves in my bed Crown with wine my mournful head, Pitying and forgiving all Thy transgressions great and small. ‘When wilt thou return and view My loves, and them to life renew? When wilt thou return and live? When wilt thou pity as I forgive?’ ‘O’er my sins thou sit and moan: Hast thou no sins of thy own? O’er my sins thou sit and weep, And lull thy own sins fast asleep. ‘What transgressions I commit Are for thy transgressions fit. They thy harlots, thou their slave; And my bed becomes their grave. ‘Never, never, I return: Still for victory I burn. Living, thee alone I’ll have; And when dead I’ll be thy grave. ‘Thro’ the Heaven and Earth and Hell Thou shalt never, quell: I will fly and thou pursue: Night and morn the flight renew.’ ‘Poor, pale, pitiable form That I follow in a storm; Iron tears and groans of lead Bind around my aching head. ‘Till I turn from Female love And root up the Infernal Grove, I shall never worthy be To step into Eternity. ‘And, to end thy cruel mocks, Annihilate thee on the rocks, And another form create To be subservient to my fate. ‘Let us agree to give up love, And root up the Infernal Grove; Then shall we return and see The worlds of happy Eternity. ‘And throughout all Eternity I forgive you, you forgive me. As our dear Redeemer said: “This the Wine, and this the Bread.”’
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.
Whether on Ida's shady brow, Or in the chambers of the East, The chambers of the sun, that now From ancient melody have ceas'd; Whether in Heav'n 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 Wand'ring 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 forc'd, the notes are few!
William Blake(°1757; †1827)