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SONGS Of INNOCENCE and Of EXPERIENCE

Shewing the Two Contrary States of the Human Soul t

SONGS of INNOCENCE

1789

The Author & Printer W Blake [ SONGS 4 ] Introduction

Piping down the valleys wild Piping songs of pleasant glee On a cloud I saw a child. And he laughing said to me. Pipe a song about a Lamb; 5 So I piped with merry chear, Piper pipe that song again— So I piped, he wept to hear. Drop thy pipe thy happy pipe Sing thy songs of happy chear, 10 So I sung the same again While he wept with joy to hear Piper sit thee down and write In a book that all may read— So he vanish'd from my sight. 15 And I pluck'd a hollow reed. And I made a rural pen, And I stain'd the water clear, And I wrote my happy songs Every child may joy to hear 20 [ SONGS 5 ] The Shepherd.

How sweet is the Shepherds sweet lot, From the morn to the evening he strays: He shall follow his sheep all the day And his tongue shall be filled with praise. For he hears the lambs innocent call, 5 And he hears the ewes tender reply, He is watchful while they are in peace, For they know when their Shepherd is nigh. [Begin Page 8] [ SONGS 6 ] The Ecchoing Green

The Sun does arise, And make happy the skies. The merry bells ring To welcome the Spring. The sky-lark and thrush, 5 The birds of the bush, Sing louder around, To the bells chearful sound. While our sports shall be seen On the Ecchoing Green. 10 [ SONGS 7 ] Old John with white hair Does laugh away care, Sitting under the oak, Among the old folk, They laugh at our play, 15 And soon they all say. Such such were the joys. When we all girls & boys, In our youth-time were seen, On the Ecchoing Green. 20 Till the little ones weary No more can be merry The sun does descend, And our sports have an end: Round the laps of their mothers, 25 Many sisters and brothers, Like birds in their nest, Are ready for rest; And sport no more seen, On the darkening Green. 30 [ SONGS 8 ] The Lamb

   Little Lamb who made thee	
   Dost thou know who made thee	

Gave thee life & bid thee feed. By the stream & o'er the mead; Gave thee clothing of delight, 5 Softest clothing wooly bright; Gave thee such a tender voice, Making all the vales rejoice!

   Little Lamb who made thee	
   Dost thou know who made thee	10

[Begin Page 9]

   Little Lamb I'll tell thee,	
   Little Lamb I'll tell thee!	

He is called by thy name, For he calls himself a Lamb: He is meek & he is mild, 15 He became a little child: I a child & thou a lamb, We are called by his name.

   Little Lamb God bless thee.	
   Little Lamb God bless thee.	20

[ SONGS 9 ] The Little Black Boy.

My mother bore me in the southern wild, And I am black, but O! my soul is white; White as an angel is the English child: But I am black as if bereav'd of light. My mother taught me underneath a tree 5 And sitting down before the heat of day, She took me on her lap and kissed me, And pointing to the east began to say. Look on the rising sun: there God does live And gives his light, and gives his heat away. 10 And flowers and trees and beasts and men recieve Comfort in morning joy in the noon day. And we are put on earth a little space, That we may learn to bear the beams of love, And these black bodies and this sun-burnt face 15 Is but a cloud, and like a shady grove. [ SONGS 10 ] For when our souls have learn'd the heat to bear The cloud will vanish we shall hear his voice. Saying: come out from the grove my love & care, And round my golden tent like lambs rejoice. 20 Thus did my mother say and kissed me, And thus I say to little English boy; When I from black and he from white cloud free, And round the tent of God like lambs we joy: Ill shade him from the heat till he can bear, 25 To lean in joy upon our fathers knee. And then I'll stand and stroke his silver hair, And be like him and he will then love me. [Begin Page 10] [ SONGS 11 ] The Blossom.

Merry Merry Sparrow Under leaves so green A happy Blossom Sees you swift as arrow Seek your cradle narrow 5 Near my Bosom. t Pretty Pretty Robin Under leaves so green A happy Blossom Hears you sobbing sobbing 10 Pretty Pretty Robin Near my Bosom. [ SONGS 12 ] The Chimney Sweeper

When my mother died I was very young, And my father sold me while yet my tongue, Could scarcely cry weep weep weep weep. t So your chimneys I sweep & in soot I sleep, Theres little Tom Dacre, who cried when his head 5 That curl'd like a lambs back, was shav'd, so I said. Hush Tom never mind it, for when your head's bare, You know that the soot cannot spoil your white hair. And so he was quiet, & that very night, As Tom was a sleeping he had such a sight, 10 That thousands of sweepers Dick, Joe, Ned & Jack Were all of them lock'd up in coffins of black, And by came an Angel who had a bright key, And he open'd the coffins & set them all free. Then down a green plain leaping laughing they run 15 And wash in a river and shine in the Sun. Then naked & white, all their bags left behind, They rise upon clouds, and sport in the wind. And the Angel told Tom if he'd be a good boy, He'd have God for his father & never want joy. 20 And so Tom awoke and we rose in the dark And got with our bags & our brushes to work. Tho' the morning was cold, Tom was happy & warm, So if all do their duty, they need not fear harm. [Begin Page 11] [ SONGS 13 ] The Little Boy lost t

Father, father, where are you going O do not walk so fast. Speak father, speak to your little boy Or else I shall be lost, The night was dark no father was there 5 The child was wet with dew, The mire was deep, & the child did weep And away the vapour flew. [ SONGS 14 ] The Little Boy Found

The little boy lost in the lonely fen, Led by the wand'ring light, Began to cry, but God ever nigh, Appeard like his father in white. He kissed the child & by the hand led 5 And to his mother brought, Who in sorrow pale, thro' the lonely dale Her little boy weeping sought. [ SONGS 15 ] Laughing Song, t

When the green woods laugh, with the voice of joy t And the dimpling stream runs laughing by, When the air does laugh with our merry wit, t And the green hill laughs with the noise of it. When the meadows laugh with lively green 5 And the grasshopper laughs in the merry scene, When Mary and Susan and Emily, t With their sweet round mouths sing Ha, Ha, He. When the painted birds laugh in the shade Where our table with cherries and nuts is spread 10 Come live & be merry and join with me, To sing the sweet chorus of Ha, Ha, He. [ SONGS 16 ] A CRADLE SONG

Sweet dreams form a shade, O'er my lovely infants head. Sweet dreams of pleasant streams, By happy silent moony beams. [Begin Page 12] Sweet sleep with soft down, 5 Weave thy brows an infant crown. Sweet sleep Angel mild, Hover o'er my happy child. Sweet smiles in the night, Hover over my delight. 10 Sweet smiles Mothers smiles All the livelong night beguiles. Sweet moans, dovelike sighs, Chase not slumber from thy eyes. Sweet moans, sweeter smiles, 15 All the dovelike moans beguiles. Sleep sleep happy child. All creation slept and smil'd. Sleep sleep, happy sleep, While o'er thee thy mother weep. 20 Sweet babe in thy face, Holy image I can trace. Sweet babe once like thee, Thy maker lay and wept for me [ SONGS 17 ] Wept for me for thee for all, 25 When he was an infant small. Thou his image ever see, Heavenly face that smiles on thee. Smiles on thee on me on all, Who became an infant small, 30 Infant smiles are his own smiles. t Heaven & earth to peace beguiles. t [ SONGS 18 ] The Divine Image. t

To Mercy Pity Peace and Love, All pray in their distress: And to these virtues of delight Return their thankfulness. For Mercy Pity Peace and Love, 5 Is God our father dear: And Mercy Pity Peace and Love, Is Man his child and care. For Mercy has a human heart Pity, a human face: 10 [Begin Page 13] And Love, the human form divine, And Peace, the human dress. Then every man of every clime, That prays in his distress, Prays to the human form divine 15 Love Mercy Pity Peace. And all must love the human form, In heathen, turk or jew. Where Mercy, Love & Pity dwell, There God is dwelling too 20 [ SONGS 19 ] HOLY THURSDAY t

Twas on a Holy Thursday their innocent faces clean The children walking two & two in red & blue & green Grey headed beadles walkd before with wands as white as snow Till into the high dome of Pauls they like Thames waters flow O what a multitude they seemd these flowers of London town 5 Seated in companies they sit with radiance all their own The hum of multitudes was there but multitudes of lambs Thousands of little boys & girls raising their innocent hands Now like a mighty wind they raise to heaven the voice of song Or like harmonious thunderings the seats of heaven among 10 Beneath them sit the aged men wise guardians of the poor Then cherish pity, lest you drive an angel from your door [ SONGS 20 ] Night

The sun descending in the west. The evening star does shine. The birds are silent in their nest, And I must seek for mine, The moon like a flower, 5 In heavens high bower; With silent delight, Sits and smiles on the night. Farewell green fields and happy groves, Where flocks have took delight; 10 Where lambs have nibbled, silent moves The feet of angels bright; Unseen they pour blessing, And joy without ceasing, [Begin Page 14] On each bud and blossom, 15 And each sleeping bosom. They look in every thoughtless nest, Where birds are coverd warm; They visit caves of every beast, To keep them all from harm; 20 If they see any weeping, That should have been sleeping They pour sleep on their head And sit down by their bed. [ SONGS 21 ] When wolves and tygers howl for prey 25 They pitying stand and weep; Seeking to drive their thirst away, And keep them from the sheep. But if they rush dreadful; The angels most heedful, 30 Recieve each mild spirit, New worlds to inherit. And there the lions ruddy eyes, Shall flow with tears of gold: And pitying the tender cries, 35 And walking round the fold: Saying: wrath by his meekness And by his health, sickness, Is driven away, From our immortal day. 40 And now beside thee bleating lamb, I can lie down and sleep; Or think on him who bore thy name, Graze after thee and weep. t For wash'd in lifes river, 45 My bright mane for ever, Shall shine like the gold, As I guard o'er the fold. t [ SONGS 22 ] Spring

Sound the Flute! Now it's mute. Birds delight Day and Night. Nightingale 5 In the dale [Begin Page 15] Lark in Sky Merrily Merrily Merrily to welcome in the Year [ SONGS 23 ] Little Boy 10 Full of joy. Little Girl Sweet and small, Cock does crow So do you. 15 Merry voice Infant noise Merrily Merrily to welcome in the Year Little Lamb Here I am, 20 Come and lick My white neck. Let me pull Your soft Wool. Let me kiss 25 Your soft face. Merrily Merrily we welcome in the Year [ SONGS 24 ] Nurse's Song t

When the voices of children are heard on the green And laughing is heard on the hill, My heart is at rest within my breast And every thing else is still Then come home my children, the sun is gone down 5 And the dews of night arise Come come leave off play, and let us away Till the morning appears in the skies No no let us play, for it is yet day And we cannot go to sleep 10 Besides in the sky, the little birds fly And the hills are all coverd with sheep Well well go & play till the light fades away And then go home to bed The little ones leaped & shouted & laugh'd 15 And all the hills ecchoed [Begin Page 16] [ SONGS 25 ] Infant Joy

I have no name I am but two days old.— What shall I call thee? I happy am Joy is my name,— 5 Sweet joy befall thee! Pretty joy! Sweet joy but two days old, Sweet joy I call thee; Thou dost smile. 10 I sing the while Sweet joy befall thee. [ SONGS 26 ] A Dream

Once a dream did weave a shade, O'er my Angel-guarded bed, That an Emmet lost it's way Where on grass methought I lay. Troubled wilderd and folorn 5 Dark benighted travel-worn, Over many a tangled spray All heart-broke I heard her say. O my children! do they cry Do they hear their father sigh. 10 Now they look abroad to see, Now return and weep for me. Pitying I drop'd a tear: But I saw a glow-worm near: Who replied. What wailing wight 15 Calls the watchman of the night. I am set to light the ground, While the beetle goes his round: Follow now the beetles hum, Little wanderer hie thee home. 20 [Begin Page 17] [ SONGS 27 ] On Anothers Sorrow t

Can I see anothers woe, And not be in sorrow too. Can I see anothers grief, And not seek for kind relief? Can I see a falling tear, 5 And not feel my sorrows share, Can a father see his child, Weep, nor be with sorrow fill'd. Can a mother sit and hear, An infant groan an infant fear— 10 No no never can it be. Never never can it be. And can he who smiles on all Hear the wren with sorrows small, Hear the small birds grief & care 15 Hear the woes that infants bear— And not sit beside the nest Pouring pity in their breast, And not sit the cradle near Weeping tear on infants tear. 20 And not sit both night & day, Wiping all our tears away. O! no never can it be. Never never can it be. He doth give his joy to all. 25 He becomes an infant small. He becomes a man of woe He doth feel the sorrow too. Think not, thou canst sigh a sigh, And thy maker is not by. 30 Think not, thou canst weep a tear, And thy maker is not near. O! he gives to us his joy, That our grief he may destroy t Till our grief is fled & gone 35 He doth sit by us and moan [Begin Page 18] SONGS of EXPERIENCE t

1794

The Author & Printer W Blake [ SONGS 30 ] Introduction.

Hear the voice of the Bard! Who Present, Past, & Future sees Whose ears have heard, The Holy Word, That walk'd among the ancient trees. 5 Calling the lapsed Soul And weeping in the evening dew: That might controll, The starry pole; And fallen fallen light renew! 10 O Earth O Earth return! Arise from out the dewy grass; Night is worn, And the morn Rises from the slumberous mass, 15 Turn away no more: Why wilt thou turn away The starry floor The watry shore Is giv'n thee till the break of day. 20 [ SONGS 31 ] EARTH'S Answer. t

Earth rais'd up her head, From the darkness dread & drear. Her light fled: t Stony dread! And her locks cover'd with grey despair. 5 Prison'd on watry shore Starry jealousy does keep my tent t Cold and hoar Weeping o'er I hear the Father of the ancient men t 10 Selfish father of men t Cruel jealous selfish fear t Can delight [Begin Page 19] Chain'd in night t The virgins of youth and morning bear. 15 Does spring hide its joy t When buds and blossoms grow? Does the sower? t Sow by night? Or the plowman in darkness plow? 20 Break this heavy chain, That does freeze my bones around t Selfish! vain! Eternal bane! t That free Love with bondage bound. 25 [ SONGS 32 ] The CLOD & the PEBBLE t

Love seeketh not Itself to please, Nor for itself hath any care; But for another gives its ease, And builds a Heaven in Hells despair.

       So sang a little Clod of Clay, t	5
       Trodden with the cattles feet:	
       But a Pebble of the brook,	
       Warbled out these metres meet.	

Love seeketh only Self to please, To bind another to Its delight: 10 Joys in anothers loss of ease, And builds a Hell in Heavens despite. [ SONGS 33 ] HOLY THURSDAY t

Is this a holy thing to see, In a rich and fruitful land, Babes reduced to misery, Fed with cold and usurous hand? Is that trembling cry a song? 5 Can it be a song of joy? And so many children poor? t It is a land of poverty! t And their sun does never shine. And their fields are bleak & bare. 10 And their ways are fill'd with thorns. It is eternal winter there. t [Begin Page 20] For where-e'er the sun does shine, t And where-e'er the rain does fall: Babe can never hunger there, 15 Nor poverty the mind appall. [ SONGS 34 ] The Little Girl Lost t

In futurity I prophetic see, That the earth from sleep, (Grave the sentence deep) Shall arise and seek 5 For her maker meek: And the desart wild Become a garden mild. In the southern clime, Where the summers prime, 10 Never fades away; Lovely Lyca lay. Seven summers old Lovely Lyca told, She had wanderd long, 15 Hearing wild birds song. Sweet sleep come to me Underneath this tree; Do father, mother weep.— Where can Lyca sleep. 20 Lost in desart wild Is your little child. How can Lyca sleep, If her mother weep. If her heart does ake, 25 Then let Lyca wake; If my mother sleep, Lyca shall not weep. Frowning frowning night, O'er this desart bright, 30 Let thy moon arise, While I close my eyes. Sleeping Lyca lay; While the beasts of prey, [Begin Page 21] Come from caverns deep, 35 View'd the maid asleep The kingly lion stood And the virgin view'd, Then he gambold round O'er the hallowd ground; 40 [ SONGS 35 ] Leopards, tygers play, Round her as she lay; While the lion old, Bow'd his mane of gold. And her bosom lick, 5 And upon her neck, From his eyes of flame, Ruby tears there came; While the lioness, Loos'd her slender dress, 10 And naked they convey'd To caves the sleeping maid. The Little Girl Found

All the night in woe, Lyca's parents go: Over vallies deep, While the desarts weep. Tired and woe-begone, 5 Hoarse with making moan: Arm in arm seven days, They trac'd the desart ways. Seven nights they sleep, Among shadows deep: 10 And dream they see their child Starv'd in desart wild. [ SONGS 36 ] Pale thro' pathless ways The fancied image strays, Famish'd, weeping, weak 15 With hollow piteous shriek Rising from unrest, The trembling woman prest, With feet of weary woe; She could no further go. 20 [Begin Page 22] In his arms he bore, Her arm'd with sorrow sore; Till before their way, A couching lion lay. Turning back was vain, 25 Soon his heavy mane, Bore them to the ground; Then he stalk'd around, Smelling to his prey. But their fears allay, 30 When he licks their hands; And silent by them stands. They look upon his eyes Fill'd with deep surprise: And wondering behold, 35 A spirit arm'd in gold. On his head a crown On his shoulders down, Flow'd his golden hair. Gone was all their care. 40 Follow me he said, Weep not for the maid; In my palace deep, Lyca lies asleep. Then they followed, 45 Where the vision led: And saw their sleeping child, Among tygers wild. To this day they dwell In a lonely dell 50 Nor fear the wolvish howl, Nor the lions growl. [ SONGS 37 ] THE Chimney Sweeper t

A little black thing among the snow: Crying weep, weep, in notes of woe! t Where are thy father & mother? say? They are both gone up to the church to pray. t Because I was happy upon the heath, 5 And smil'd among the winter's snow: t [Begin Page 23] They clothed me in the clothes of death, And taught me to sing the notes of woe. And because I am happy, & dance & sing, They think they have done me no injury: 10 And are gone to praise God & his Priest & King Who make up a heaven of our misery. t [ SONGS 38 ] NURSES Song t

When the voices of children, are heard on the green And whisprings are in the dale: The days of my youth rise fresh in my mind, t My face turns green and pale. Then come home my children, the sun is gone down 5 And the dews of night arise Your spring & your day, are wasted in play And your winter and night in disguise. [ SONGS 39 ] The SICK ROSE t

O Rose thou art sick. The invisible worm, That flies in the night In the howling storm: Has found out thy bed t 5 Of crimson joy: And his dark secret love t Does thy life destroy. t [ SONGS 40 ] THE FLY. t

Little Fly Thy summers play, t My thoughtless hand t Has brush'd away. t Am not I 5 A fly like thee? Or art not thou A man like me? For I dance And drink & sing: 10 Till some blind hand Shall brush my wing. [Begin Page 24] If thought is life t And strength & breath: And the want t 15 Of thought is death; Then am I A happy fly, If I live, Or if I die. 20 [ SONGS 41 ] The Angel t

I Dreamt a Dream! what can it mean? And that I was a maiden Queen: Guarded by an Angel mild: Witless woe, was ne'er beguil'd! And I wept both night and day 5 And he wip'd my tears away And I wept both day and night And hid from him my hearts delight So he took his wings and fled: Then the morn blush'd rosy red: 10 I dried my tears & armed my fears, With ten thousand shields and spears, Soon my Angel came again; I was arm'd, he came in vain: For the time of youth was fled t 15 And grey hairs were on my head. [ SONGS 42 ] The Tyger. t

Tyger Tyger, burning bright, In the forests of the night; What immortal hand or eye, t Could frame thy fearful symmetry? t In what distant deeps or skies. t 5 Burnt the fire of thine eyes? t On what wings dare he aspire? t What the hand, dare sieze the fire? And what shoulder, & what art, Could twist the sinews of thy heart? 10 And when thy heart began to beat, What dread hand? & what dread feet? t [Begin Page 25] What the hammer? what the chain, t In what furnace was thy brain? What the anvil? what dread grasp, 15 Dare its deadly terrors clasp! t When the stars threw down their spears t And water'd heaven with their tears: Did he smile his work to see? Did he who made the Lamb make thee? 20 Tyger Tyger burning bright, In the forests of the night: t What immortal hand or eye, t Dare frame thy fearful symmetry? t [ SONGS 43 ] My Pretty ROSE TREE t

A flower was offerd to me; Such a flower as May never bore. But I said I've a Pretty Rose-tree: And I passed the sweet flower o'er. Then I went to my Pretty Rose-tree; 5 To tend her by day and by night. t But my Rose turnd away with jealousy: t And her thorns were my only delight. AH! SUN-FLOWER

Ah Sun-flower! weary of time, Who countest the steps of the Sun: Seeking after that sweet golden clime Where the travellers journey is done. Where the Youth pined away with desire, 5 And the pale Virgin shrouded in snow: Arise from their graves and aspire, Where my Sun-flower wishes to go. The LILLY t

The modest Rose puts forth a thorn: t The humble Sheep, a threatning horn: t While the Lilly white, shall in Love delight, Nor a thorn nor a threat stain her beauty bright. t [Begin Page 26] [ SONGS 44 ] The GARDEN of LOVE t

I went to the Garden of Love, And saw what I never had seen: t A Chapel was built in the midst, t Where I used to play on the green. And the gates of this Chapel were shut, t 5 And Thou shalt not. writ over the door; So I turn'd to the Garden of Love, t That so many sweet flowers bore. And I saw it was filled with graves, And tomb-stones where flowers should be: 10 And Priests in black gowns, were walking their rounds, And binding with briars, my joys & desires. [ SONGS 45 ] The Little Vagabond t

Dear Mother, dear Mother, the Church is cold, t But the Ale-house is healthy & pleasant & warm; Besides I can tell where I am use'd well, t Such usage in heaven will never do well. t But if at the Church they would give us some Ale. 5 And a pleasant fire, our souls to regale; We'd sing and we'd pray, all the live-long day; Nor ever once wish from the Church to stray, Then the Parson might preach & drink & sing. And we'd be as happy as birds in the spring: 10 And modest dame Lurch, who is always at Church, Would not have bandy children nor fasting nor birch. And God like a father rejoicing to see, t His children as pleasant and happy as he: Would have no more quarrel with the Devil or the Barrel 15 But kiss him & give him both drink and apparel. t [ SONGS 46 ] LONDON t

I wander thro' each charter'd street, t Near where the charter'd Thames does flow. And mark in every face I meet t Marks of weakness, marks of woe. [Begin Page 27] In every cry of every Man, 5 In every Infants cry of fear, t In every voice: in every ban, t The mind-forg'd manacles I hear t How the Chimney-sweepers cry t Every blackning Church appalls, t 10 And the hapless Soldiers sigh Runs in blood down Palace walls But most thro' midnight streets I hear t How the youthful Harlots curse Blasts the new-born Infants tear 15 And blights with plagues the Marriage hearse [ SONGS 47 ] The Human Abstract. t

Pity would be no more, t If we did not make somebody Poor: t And Mercy no more could be, If all were as happy as we; And mutual fear brings peace; 5 Till the selfish loves increase. Then Cruelty knits a snare, And spreads his baits with care. t He sits down with holy fears, And waters the ground with tears: 10 Then Humility takes its root Underneath his foot. Soon spreads the dismal shade Of Mystery over his head; And the Catterpiller and Fly, 15 Feed on the Mystery. And it bears the fruit of Deceit, Ruddy and sweet to eat; And the Raven his nest has made In its thickest shade. 20 The Gods of the earth and sea, Sought thro' Nature to find this Tree But their search was all in vain: There grows one in the Human Brain t [Begin Page 28] [ SONGS 48 ] INFANT SORROW t

My mother groand! my father wept. Into the dangerous world I leapt: Helpless, naked, piping loud; Like a fiend hid in a cloud. Struggling in my fathers bands: 5 Striving against my swadling bands: Bound and weary I thought best To sulk upon my mothers breast. [ SONGS 49 ] A POISON TREE. t

I was angry with my friend; I told my wrath, my wrath did end. I was angry with my foe: I told it not, my wrath did grow. And I waterd it in fears, 5 Night & morning with my tears: And I sunned it with smiles, And with soft deceitful wiles. And it grew both day and night. Till it bore an apple bright. 10 And my foe beheld it shine, And he knew that it was mine. And into my garden stole, When the night had veild the pole; In the morning glad I see; 15 My foe outstretchd beneath the tree. [ SONGS 50 ] A Little BOY Lost t

Nought loves another as itself Nor venerates another so. Nor is it possible to Thought A greater than itself to know: And Father, how can I love you, t 5 Or any of my brothers more? t I love you like the little bird t That picks up crumbs around the door. The Priest sat by and heard the child. In trembling zeal he siez'd his hair: t 10 He led him by his little coat: t And all admir'd the Priestly care. t [Begin Page 29] And standing on the altar high, t Lo what a fiend is here! said he: One who sets reason up for judge 15 Of our most holy Mystery. The weeping child could not be heard. The weeping parents wept in vain: They strip'd him to his little shirt. t And bound him in an iron chain. 20 And burn'd him in a holy place, t Where many had been burn'd before: The weeping parents wept in vain. Are such things done on Albions shore. t [ SONGS 51 ] A Little GIRL Lost

Children of the future Age, Reading this indignant page; Know that in a former time. Love! sweet Love! was thought a crime. In the Age of Gold, 5 Free from winters cold: Youth and maiden bright, To the holy light, Naked in the sunny beams delight. Once a youthful pair 10 Fill'd with softest care: Met in garden bright, Where the holy light, Had just removd the curtains of the night. There in rising day, 15 On the grass they play: Parents were afar: Strangers came not near: And the maiden soon forgot her fear. Tired with kisses sweet 20 They agree to meet, When the silent sleep Waves o'er heavens deep; And the weary tired wanderers weep. To her father white 25 Came the maiden bright: But his loving look, Like the holy book, All her tender limbs with terror shook. [Begin Page 30] Ona! pale and weak! 30 To thy father speak: O the trembling fear! O the dismal care! That shakes the blossoms of my hoary hair [ SONGS 52 ] To Tirzah t

Whate'er is Born of Mortal Birth, Must be consumed with the Earth To rise from Generation free; Then what have I to do with thee? The Sexes sprung from Shame & Pride 5 Blow'd in the morn: in evening died But Mercy changd Death into Sleep; The Sexes rose to work & weep. Thou Mother of my Mortal part. With cruelty didst mould my Heart. 10 And with false self-decieving tears, Didst bind my Nostrils Eyes & Ears. Didst close my Tongue in senseless clay And me to Mortal Life betray: The Death of Jesus set me free, 15 Then what have I to do with thee? illustration from Songs, plate 52 It is Raised / a Spiritual Body

[Begin Page 31] [ SONGS 53 ] The School Boy t

I love to rise in a summer morn, When the birds sing on every tree; The distant huntsman winds his horn, And the sky-lark sings with me. O! what sweet company. 5 But to go to school in a summer morn, O! it drives all joy away; Under a cruel eye outworn, The little ones spend the day, In sighing and dismay. 10 Ah! then at times I drooping sit, And spend many an anxious hour. Nor in my book can I take delight, Nor sit in learnings bower, Worn thro' with the dreary shower. 15 How can the bird that is born for joy, Sit in a cage and sing. How can a child when fears annoy, But droop his tender wing, And forget his youthful spring. 20 O! father & mother, if buds are nip'd, And blossoms blown away, And if the tender plants are strip'd Of their joy in the springing day, By sorrow and cares dismay, 25 How shall the summer arise in joy. Or the summer fruits appear, Or how shall we gather what griefs destroy Or bless the mellowing year, When the blasts of winter appear. 30 [ SONGS 54 ] The Voice of the Ancient Bard. t

Youth of delight come hither: And see the opening morn, Image of truth new born. Doubt is fled & clouds of reason. Dark disputes & artful teazing. 5 Folly is an endless maze, Tangled roots perplex her ways, [Begin Page 32] How many have fallen there! They stumble all night over bones of the dead, And feel they know not what but care 10 And wish to lead others, when they should be led. [ SONGS 55 ] A DIVINE IMAGE t

Cruelty has a Human Heart And Jealousy a Human Face Terror, the Human Form Divine And Secrecy, the Human Dress The Human Dress, is forged Iron 5 The Human Form, a fiery Forge. The Human Face, a Furnace seal'd The Human Heart, its hungry Gorge.



SONGS Of INNOCENCE and Of EXPERIENCE Twenty-one copies of and 28 of the combined grouping under the general title are known to exist. The , though advertised separately in Blake's Prospectus of 1793, appear not to have been issued except in combination or to complement earlier copies of . The latter he continued to issue separately, feeling perhaps that they could stand alone but that the songs of Experience required to be heard as counterpoint in the progression of contraries.

Ms drafts of three Innocence songs (in ) and of 18 Experience songs (in the Notebook) are analyzed for all variants, in the following notes. All etched copies are identical in text, except for Blake's tampering with line 12 of in one copy, changing “sung” to “sang” in in another, and altering the “smiles” in in another. In no two copies of , however, are the plates containing the songs arranged in exactly the same order. In copies of the combined volume, Blake after 19 differing arrangements (in what order we are not sure, since the dating of many copies is conjectural) settled down to that adopted in the present edition. In seven of the last eight copies printed he followed this sequence; yet since two of these printings were made not before 1815 and five not before 1825-26, i.e.e, in Blake's closing years, this “final” order may represent only a final wearniness. For when he took pains to write out instructions as to “The Order in which the Songs . . . ought to be paged & placed”—an order followed in one copy, on 1818 paper, though the list is checked over twice as if for two bindings—Blake contrived yet one more unique arrangement. (See Letter 68.)

It is suggested that the reader experiment, as Blake did, to find what different tensions and resonances are produced by different juxtapositions.

Dates: 1784-1803, approximately. Three songs appear in the ms of (1784-85). The earliest copies of are complete and bear the etched date “1789” but may not have been issued that soon. The lettering of the Innocence songs is an improvement upon the stiff roman style of the earlier tractates, but it continues the backward slant which was probably caused at first by Blake's using a mirror to guide his hand when writing directly on the copper. An exception is (later moved to the ), which is inscribed in a transitional cursive italic, with forward slant, a style also found in plates 1-5 of . The lettering style that became Blake's final choice appears first in plate 6 of and in all the Experience songs except those carried over from Innocence. In its first form it employs a lower-case “g” with its topknot or serif switched to the left side. Its second form employs a conventional “g” with serif on the right and appears in , dated “1804” and all later etched works. (The hypothesis long accepted that Blake applied the text of his Illuminated Works to the copper by some method of transfer or counterproofing—a theory that, however, could not account for the text of the Books of and which are in intaglio etching—has now been conclusively overthrown by Robert N. Essick in , Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press 1980, pp 89-91.)

Four of the first appeared among the : and , , and . Thus even while making his “1789” collection Blake was accumulating contrary songs, including perhaps some not fit even temporarily for Innocence. Of the 18 songs of Experience in Blake's Notebook (in entries made between 1790 and late 1792) 12 seem fair copies of earlier drafts (though subsequently revised or expanded) and only six were unmistakably begun and composed in the Notebook, i.e., within these dates: , , , , , and (in that order).

(given here following the proper) was omitted by Blake from all but one known copy but must have been etched before (and been replaced by) .

Before the end of 1792 Blake had written among the Notebook poems a satiric (see above, p 499); yet be advertised the two groups as separate booklets on October 1O 1793, and his combined title page is etched “1794”.

Songs not in the Notebook group and hence possibly of late composition are the , , and . does not appear in five copies, and in style of lettering and in content it seems to belong to 18O3 or later.

In the notes that follow, second or third readings implied but not given are to be understood as identical to the readings of the final text.

SONGS of INNOCENCE The Blossom 6 my] falsely reported as “thy” in posthumous copies, but see M. E. Reisner in Blake Newsletter 40:130.

The Chimney Sweeper 3 weep &c] to be understood as 'weep (for “sweep”)

The Little Boy lost Ms draft in , Chap II (see p 463), is Presented as a song by Quid the Cynic. In revision for the anapests were removed—and the mockery.

Laughing Song An early ms version, not in Blake's hand, was written in a copy of that belonged to Mrs Flaxman, now in the Alexander Turnbull Library in Wellington, New Zealand (see below, p 851). it varies from in the following particulars:

Title] Song 2nd by a Yound[sic] Shepherd ms rdg Lines 1-2 were lines 5-6 in the ms; lines 3-6 were 1-4.

1 green woods laugh] greenwood laughs ms rdg

3 air does] trees do ms rdg

7 Mary and Susan and Emily] Edessa, & Lyca, & Emilie ms rdg

A CRADLE SONG 31-32 are . . . smiles . . . beguiles] altered in copy J to:like . . . smile . . . beguile (in a hand like Blake's, according to G. E. Bentley)

For an version, see “A cradle song” (above, p 468) which was written among other in the Notebook (p 114) but not published.

The Divine Image 14 That] printed as Who in the Swedenborgian journal (April 1825), a change which Raymond H. Deck, Jr, thinks possibly authorized by Blake, since he knew the editor, C. A. Tulk. The possibility seems remote, and theologically motivated.

HOLY THURSDAY The ms draft in , Chap II (see text, p 462), is presented as a song by Mr. Obtuse Angle, the Mathematician, which is meant to enliven a dull party but fails.

Night 44 Graze] mended from grase

48 as] altered in copy Q of to: and

Nurse's Song Ms draft in , Chap II (see text), shifts the song's reciter from Mrs Sigtag atist's Grandmother to Mrs Nannicantipot's mother to, finally, a Nurse.

On Anothers Sorrow 4 seek] changed to wish in The Dawn of Light (see above)

34 grief] changed to griefs ( but grief kept in line 35) in The Dawn . Surely not with Blake's approval. In both poems The Dawn supplied punctuation and capitalization hardly to Blake's desire.

SONGS of EXPERIENCE: With the two exceptions indicated, all variant readings given are from Blake's ms Notebook.

EARTH'S Answer Follows immediately in all copies. The Notebook draft (p III reversed) shows Blake arriving at the final text through precise improvements in wording:

Title] The Earths Answer 1st ms rdg

3 light fled] eyes fled 1st ms rdg del; orbs dead 2nd ms rdg del

7 Starry] 1st ms rdg, del, then reinserted above the line

10 I hear . . . men] 1st ms rdg, changed to I hear the ancient father of men; then ancient father del

11 Selfish] Cruel 1st ms rdg del

12 selfish] wintry 1st ms rdg del

14 Chain'd] Closd 1st ms rdg del

11-15 Stanza heavily del, then 16-20 written in adjacent column as replacement; final restoration of 11-15 not indicated in the Notebook (a caution against considering all Notebook deletions as final decisions: see “Never pain to tell thy love”)

16 joy] delight 1st ms rdg del

18-19 sower / Sow by night] sower sow / His seed by night 1st ms rdg (revised to final rdg)

22 freeze] close 1st ms rdg del

24-25]

Thou my bane Hast my love with bondage bound 1st ms rdg (revised to final rdg) The CLOD & the PEBBLE Ms draft in Notebook (p 115 reversed) is identical except for lack of punctuation, and mistake of “anothers” for “another” in line 10.

5 sang] mended from sung (in 1825 or later when Blake was retracing the text in color in copy Z—see Blake Trust facsimile, 1955; a possibly accidental yet genuine correction by an older Blake)

HOLY THURSDAY Ms draft in Notebook (p 103 reversed) is almost identical but less limber.

7 so many children] so great a number ms rdg

8 It is] Tis ms rdg

12 It is] Tis ms rdg

13, 14 where-e'er] whereeer ms rdg

The Little Girl Lost This and the next poem first appeared among the (1789).

THE Chimney Sweeper Ms draft in Notebook (pp 106 & 103 reversed) is almost identical.

2 weep weep] i.e., sweep sweep

4 to the church] to Church ms p 106

6 winters snow] winter wind 1st ms rdg

12 make up a heaven of] wrap themselves up in 1 st ms rdg del

NURSES Song Ms draft in Notebook (p 109 reversed) is identical except for:

Title] not in ms

3 days of my youth] desires of youth 1st ms rdg del; days of youth 2nd ms rdg

The SICK ROSE Ms draft in Notebook (p 107 reversed) is closely related to “The wild flowers song” begun just above it on the page, in the same ink.

5 Has] Hath ms rdg

7 And his] O 1st ms rdg del; And his 2nd ms rdg; And her 3rd ms rdg

8 Does thy] Doth 1st ms rdg del

THE FLY Ms draft in Notebook (p 101 reversed) began with three tetrameter lines and a half:

Woe alas my guilty hand Brushd across thy summer joy All thy gilded painted pride Shatterd fled These were deleted and a new beginning was made in dimeter quatrains, close to the final version except for a deleted second stanza:

The cut worm Forgives the plow And dies in peace And so do thou (Compare Proverb 6 in the )

Title] not in ms

2 summers] summer ms rdg

3 thoughtless] guilty 1st ms rdg del

4 Has] Hath ms rdg

Lines 13-16 originally followed 17-20 and were more positive in mode:

13 If thought] Thought 1 st ms rdg del

15 And] But 1st ms rdg del

The Angel Ms draft in Notebook (p 103 reversed) does not capitalize “Dream”, “Queen”, or “Angel”. Lines 15-16 appear also as concluding lines in the ms (see p 797 and p 469.

15 For] But 1st ms rdg del

The Tyger There are two ms drafts in Notebook (pp 109-108 reversed), the first much revised, with title and stanza 5 added in revision; the second a fair copy (crossed out after transfer to copper) of stanzas 1, 3, 5, and 6—with stanza 2 written alongside though not marked for insertion.

3 or] or 1st ms rdg del; & 2nd ms rdg

4 Could] Could 1st ms rdg del; Dare 2nd ms rdg del

5 In what] In what 1st ms rdg del (but deletion line erased); Burnt in 2nd ms rdg del

6 Burnt the] Burnt the 1st ms rdg del; The Cruel 2nd ms rdg del

7 On . . . aspire] Could heart descend or wings aspire 2nd ms rdg (1st ms rdg, not del, is the final rdg)

12 & what] Altered in ink to “formd thy” in a late copy (P); given as “forged thy” in B. H. Malkin, (London 1806), perhaps on Blake's authority, for the line seems to have troubled him—or his readers.

After line 12 several starts were made on a 4th stanza, first:

Could fetch it from the furnace deep And in [thy] <the> horrid ribs dare steep then:

In the well of sanguine woe then:

In what clay & in what mould Were thy eyes of fury rolld Then all these were deleted and stanza 4 was written in almost its final form, but it was experimented with thus:

13 What . . . what] What. . . what 1st ms rdg del; Where . . . where 2nd ms rdg

16 Dare] Could 1st ms rdg del clasp] clasp 1st ms rdg del; grasp 2nd ms rdg del

Lines 17-20 were written as follows, then numbered for rearrangement of lines and for insertion as 5th stanza:

3 And [is] [<did> he laugh] <dare he [smile] [<laugh>] > his work to see

[What the[shoulder]<ankle> what the knee]

4 [Did] <Dare> he who made the lamb make thee

1 When the stars threw down their spears

2 And waterd heaven with their tears

22 In the] In thee 1st ms rdg

23 or eye] & eye 1st and 2nd ms rdgs

24 frame] form 1st ms rdg del

My Pretty ROSE TREE Ms draft in Notebook (p 115 reversed) was the first Song of Experience copied into it; a fair copy, but soon revised:

Title] not in ms

6 To . . . night] In the silent of the night 1 st ms rdg del; To tend it by day & by night 2nd ms rdg

7 turnd away with jealousy:] was turned from me 1st ms rdg del; was filld with Jealousy 2nd ms rdg (revised to final rdg).

THE LILLY Ms draft in Notebook (p 109 reversed) lacks title and indeed can hardly be subsumed under the later title:

The [rose puts envious] <[lustful] <modest> rose> puts forth a thorn

The [coward] <humble> sheep a threatning horn

While the lilly white shall in love delight [And the lion increase freedom & peace] [The prist loves war & the soldier peace] Nor a thorn nor a threat stain her beauty bright

The GARDEN of LOVE Ms draft in Notebook (p 115 reversed) is a hastily written copy, identical in final readings except that it lacks title and “chapel” is spelled “chapeld” and “gowns” “gounds”.

2 And saw] And [a] saw ms rdg

3 built] mended in ms from build

5 gates . . . were] gate . . . was 1st ms rdg del

7 So] And 1st ms rdg del

The Little Vagabond Ms draft in Notebook (p 105 reversed) is in pencil, though the bowdlerizing revisions of lines 4 and 16 are in ink.

Title] A pretty Vagabond 1st ms rdg (revised to final rdg)

1 Dear . . . dear] O . . . Dear 1st ms rdg

3 where] when mended to where ms rdg us'd] usd ms rdg

4] Such usage in heaven makes all go to hell 1st ms rdg del; The poor parsons with wind like a blown bladder swell 2nd ms rdg

13 And] Then ms rdg rejoicing] that joys for 1st ms rdg del

16] But shake hands & kiss him & thered be no more hell 1st ms rdg del; But kiss him & give him both [food] drink & apparel 2nd ms rdg

LONDON Ms draft in Notebook (p 109 reversed) began as fair copy with title and three stanzas; later revised and given a 4th stanza, which was thrice revised.

1, 2 charter'd] dirty ms rdg

3 markd] see 1st ms rdg del

6 Infants cry of fear] voice of every child 1st ms rdg del

7 ban] meaning prohibition or curse (or both); compare “Bow- street's ban” in XI 19

8 mind-forg'd manacles] german forged links 1 st ms rdg (revised to final rdg)

9 How] But most 1st ms rdg (del to give “most” to 4th stanza)

10] Blackens oer the churches walls 1st ms rdg del

13-16]:

But most the midnight harlots curse From every dismal street I hear Weaves around the marriage hearse And blasts the new born infants tear 1st ms rdg del But most [from every] <thro wintry> street I hear How the midnight harlots curse Blasts the new born infants tear And [hangs] <smites> with plagues the marriage hearse 2nd ms rdg del But most the shrieks of youth I hear 3rd ms rdg del But most thro midnight &c How the youthful 4th ms rdg The Human Abstract The ms draft in Notebook (p 1O7 reversed) is related to an earlier ms lyric, “I heard an Angel singing” (P 114 reversed), given here under .

Title] The human Image ms rdg

1 Pity] Mercy 1st ms rdg del

2 we did not make somebody] there was nobody 1 st ms rdg del

8 baits] seeds 1st ms rdg del

24 There grows one] Till they sought 1 st ms rdg del Here follow two lines derived from the Notebook draft of (see above):

They said this mystery never shall cease The prest [loves] <promotes> war & the soldier peace Also four lines in the adjacent column, though separated by another poem, probably belong to this one, if “There” means “in the human brain”:

There souls of men are bought & sold [There] <And> [ cradled] <milk fed> infancy [ is sold] for gold And youth[s] to slaughter houses led And [maidens] <beauty> for a bit of bread INFANT SORROW Ms draft in Notebook (p 113 reversed) is identical in these two stanzas, but it continues for seven more stanzas, heavily revised, with an alternative development on p 111 reversed. On p 113 the original draft before revisions was probably a fair copy from some earlier ms (except where lines 13-14 were canceled and replaced at once by extension of the stanza at the other end, lines 27-18):

(continuation)

And I grew day after day Till upon the ground I stray And I grew night after night Seeking only for delight [But upon the nettly ground] [No delight was to be found] And I saw before me shine Clusters of the wandring vine And beyond a mirtle tree Stretchd its blossoms out to me But a Priest with holy look In his hand a holy book Pronouncd curses on his head Who the fruit or blossoms shed I beheld the Priest by night He embracd my mirtle bright I beheld the Priest by day Where beneath my vine he lay Like a serpent in the night He embracd my mirtle bright Like a serpent in the day Underneath my vine he lay So I smote him & his gore Staind the roots my mirtle bore But the time of youth is fled And grey hairs are on my head 1st ms rdg Extensive revisions, in a different ink, effected two major transformations. First Blake changed the singular “Priest” and associated pronouns and “serpent” to plural, “many a Priest” and “Priests” with plural pronouns and “serpents”: the Priests embraced the youth's blossoms and he “smote them”; during this revision the sixth and seventh stanzas (lines 23-30) were consolidated. Meanwhile on p 111 Blake had begun some stanzas of a youth bound beneath a mirtle—an impulse combining the mirtle and blossoms Of p 113 with the theme of love bound, in (just above on p 111 written before this return to the mirtle theme):

To a lovely mirtle bound Blossoms showring all around O how sick & weary I Underneath my mirtle lie He then canceled the first of these two couplets and added another at the bottom for a stanza ending instead of beginning with “bound”:

Like to dung upon the ground In the next column on p 111 he wrote a stanza to precede this and two to follow it, numbering the first “1”, the “bound” stanza “2”, and the first of the next two “3” to show the sequence:

1 Why should I be bound to thee O my lovely mirtle tree Love free love cannot be bound To any tree that grows on ground 2 O how sick & weary I Underneath my mirtle lie Like to dung upon the ground Underneath my mirtle bound 3 Oft my mirtle sighd in vain To behold my heavy chain Oft the priest beheld us sigh And laughd at our simplicity So I smote him & his gore Staind the roots my mirtle bore But the time of youth is fled And grey hairs are on my head The fourth stanza is not an afterthought but a return to the original concluding stanza (lines 31-34) Of p 113, demonstrating the four stanzas on p 111 to be an alternative route to the same finale—in effect replacing the priest and serpent stanzas (lines 23-30). Before confirming this alternative, however, Blake turned from the motifs of p 111—in which the priest laughs at the simplicity of wedlock (youth bound to mirtle tree)—to pluralize the priest and serpent Of p 113. Not content with the result, he then bypassed the priests and serpents of lines 27-34 (as numbered below), and, drawing again upon , from which he deleted the cruel “father of men”, he put “my father” in the priest's place (on p 111 changing “the priest beheld” to “my father saw” and on p 113 changing “Priest” or “many a Priest” (line 23) to “My father then”. He changed line 26 to introduce the bondage motif—“And bound me in a mirtle shade”—and he inserted the concluding phrase “in a mirtle shade” as a catch-phrase above stanza “1” on p 111, with the effect of canceling the remainder of p 113 (lines 23-30).

The indicated fusion was not carried further (“their hands” in revised line 24 should have been changed back to “his hands”). When selecting the first two stanzas to be etched in as (his inserted title), he struck through all the other verses on pp 113 and 111.

Editorial rescue work can salvage from the transitional drafts of pp 113 and 111 a compact cycle-poem (compare ) from infancy to grey hairs. Keynes (pp 889-890) presents Max Plowman's “fair copy” of the fusion of the two pages before removal of the stanzas—though the resultant poem should probably not bear that title. Plowman had noticed the catch-word function of the phrase “in a mirtle shade”, but his reconstruction of the sequence of the writing on page 111 was unsound, and, like Keynes, I treated the phrase as a title, neglecting the possibility that the catch-word idea might be in itself valid. Donald K. Moore has helped me to arrive at the present interpretation of these Notebook pages (see pp 67-69).

A variant of the Plowman “fair copy” would consist of the two unchanged stanzas, followed by the inserted third stanza as revised (lines 9-12 below), followed by the penultimate version Of lines 23-26 and the final revisions of bypassed stanzas on p 113 (lines 31-35 ff).

The process of revision of p 113 (after the first two stanzas) may be shown in composite form:

When I saw that rage was vain And to su[c] <l>k would nothing gain [I began to so] [< Seeking many an artful wile>]<Turning many a trick o[r] wil[e]> I began to soothe & s[p] <m>ile And I [grew] [<smild >] <soothd> day after day Till upon the ground I stray And I [grew] <smild> night after night Seeking only for delight [But upon the nettly ground] [No delight was to be found] And I saw before me shine Clusters of the wandring vine [And beyond a mirtle free] <And many a lovely flower & tree> Stretchd [its] <their> blossoms out to me [But a] [<But many a>] [Priest] <My father then> with holy look In [his] [<their>] hand a holy book Pronouncd curses on [his] <my> head [Who the fruit or blossoms shed] <And bound me in a mirtle shade> [I beheld the Priest by night ] [[He] <They > embracd [my mirtle] <the blossoms> bright] [I beheld the Priest by day] [Where beneath my] <Underneath the> vine [he] <they> lay [3] [Like [a] <to> serpent in the night] [4] [He] <They> embracd my [mirtle] < blossom> bright] [1] Like [a] <to> [serpent in the] <holy m[ a ]<e>n by> day [2] Underneath [my] >the< vine>s< [he] <they> lay So I smote [him] <them> & [his] <their> gore etc A POISON TREE Ms draft in Notebook (p 114 reversed) Title] Christian Forbearance ms rdg Line 10 is followed by a deleted line:

And I gave it to my foe A Little BOY Lost Ms draft in Notebook (p 106 reversed). title] not in ms

5 And. . . how can I] Then . . . I can not 1 st ms rdg del

6 Or] Nor 1st ms rdg del

7 you like the little bird] myself so does the bird 1st ms rdg del

Line 10 is followed in ms by two deleted lines:

The mother followd weeping loud O that I such a fiend should bear 11 He] Then 1st ms rdg del

12 And all admird the] To show his jealous 1 st Ms rdg del; And all admird his 2nd ms rdg

Lines 13-16 were written in the adjacent column.

19-20]

They bound his little ivory limbs In a cruel Iron chain 1st ms rdg del 19 They] And 2nd ms rdg del

21 and . . . place] They . . . fire 1st ms rdg del

24 Are such things] Such things are 1st ms rdg (revised to final rdg)

To Tirzah A late addition to the , not found in copies A-D, F-H. The style of lettering points to a date later than 18O3, though this upsets the traditional (but highly conjectural) dating of copies E, I-0, which contain this poem yet are assigned dates Of 1795, 1796-98, and 1799-1801 in the Keynes and Wolf . Keynes himself has steadily, in his editions, assigned a date of “about 1801”. The revised census in (pp 414-419) is not much help; in the distributed data for copies K, 0, and e there are contradictions that give the Tirzah plate (52) stab holes in 1797 but a date of first mention in 1814.

Actually the first copy of that contains and has any firm evidence of date is copy P (on paper watermarked BUTTENSHAW 18O2), followed by Q (with watermark dates of 1802 and 1804) and E (sold to Butts in 1806).

The School Boy First appeared among ; was not for some time transferred to .

The Voice of the Ancient Bard Began among ; was shifted to in some carly copies yet appears occasionally in in copies as late as 1815.

A DIVINE IMAGE This poem, illustrated by a youthful blacksmith hammering a human-faced sun on his anvil, was etched by Blake but found in only one copy printed by him (BB, just located). The few single prints seem to have been made from the plate after his death. The poem is an reversal of the third stanza of in , It was evidently etched for (the plate size is right) but replaced by , a subtler contrary. The style of lettering is transitional between that of and that of or between the styles of the early and late portions of and of. None of the published is quite so simply and symmetrically antithetical to its counterpart in .

Date : 1790-91 (hitherto misdated ca 1794).


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