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24 Works of William Blake

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Sweet dreams, form a shade O’er my lovely infant’s head! Sweet dreams of pleasant streams By happy, silent, moony beams! Sweet sleep, with soft down 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! Sweet smiles, mother’s smile All the […]

In futurityI prophetic seeThat the earth from sleep(Grave the sentence deep) Shall arise, and seekfor her Maker meek;And the desert wildBecome a garden mild. In the southern clime,Where the summer’s primeNever fades away,Lovely Lyca lay. Seven summers oldLovely Lyca told.She had wandered long,Hearing wild birds’ song. “Sweet sleep, come to meUnderneath this tree;Do father, mother, […]

Holy Thursday

Story type: Poetry

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Is this a holy thing to seeIn a rich and fruitful land, —Babes reduced to misery,Fed with cold and usurous hand? Is that trembling cry a song?Can it be a song of joy?And so many children poor?It is a land of poverty! And their son does never shine,And their fields are bleak and bare,And their […]

“Love seeketh not itself to please,Nor for itself hath any care,But for another gives it ease,And builds a heaven in hell’s despair.” So sang a little clod of clay,Trodden with the cattle’s feet,But a pebble of the brookWarbled out these metres meet: “Love seeketh only Self to please,To bind another to its delight,Joys in another’s […]

The Angel

Story type: Poetry

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I dreamt a dream! What can it mean?And that I was a maiden QueenGuarded by an Angel mild:Witless woe was ne’er beguiled! And I wept both night and day,And he wiped my tears away;And I wept both day and night,And hid from him my heart’s delight. So he took his wings, and fled;Then the morn […]

The Sick Rose

Story type: Literature

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O rose, thou art sick!The invisible worm,That flies in the night,In the howling storm, Has found out thy bedOf crimson joy,And his dark secret loveDoes thy life destroy.

Nurse’s Song

Story type: Poetry

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When voices of children are heard on the green,And whisperings are in the dale,The days of my youth rise fresh in my mind,My face turns green and pale. Then come home, my children, the sun is gone down,And the dews of night arise;Your spring and your day are wasted in play,And your winter and night […]

A little black thing in the snow,Crying “weep! weep!” in notes of woe!“Where are thy father and mother? Say!”–“They are both gone up to the church to pray. “Because I was happy upon the heath,And smiled among the winter’s snow,They clothed me in the clothes of death,And taught me to sing the notes of woe. […]

London

Story type: Poetry

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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 cryEvery blackening church appals,And the hapless soldier’s sighRuns in […]

All the night in woeLyca’s parents goOver valleys deep,While the deserts weep. Tired and woe-begone,Hoarse with making moan,Arm in arm, seven daysThey traced the desert ways. Seven nights they sleepAmong shadows deep,And dream they see their childStarved in desert wild. Pale through pathless waysThe fancied image strays,Famished, weeping, weak,With hollow piteous shriek. Rising from unrest,The […]

Dear mother, dear mother, the Church is cold;But the Alehouse is healthy, and pleasant, and warm.Besides, I can tell where I am used well;The poor parsons with wind like a blown bladder swell. But, if at the Church they would give us some ale,And a pleasant fire our souls to regale,We’d sing and we’d pray […]

I laid me down upon a bank,Where Love lay sleeping;I heard among the rushes dankWeeping, weeping. Then I went to the heath and the wild,To the thistles and thorns of the waste;And they told me how they were beguiled,Driven out, and compelled to the chaste. I went to the Garden of Love,And saw what I […]

The Lily

Story type: Literature

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The modest Rose puts forth a thorn,The humble sheep a threat’ning horn:While the Lily white shall in love delight,Nor a thorn nor a threat stain her beauty bright.

Ah Sunflower

Story type: Literature

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Ah Sunflower, weary of time,Who countest the steps of the sun;Seeking after that sweet golden climeWhere the traveller’s journey is done; Where the Youth pined away with desire,And the pale virgin shrouded in snow,Arise from their graves, and aspireWhere my Sunflower wishes to go!

A flower was offered 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,To tend her by day and by night;But my rose turned away with jealousy,And her thorns were my only delight.

A Little Boy Lost

Story type: Poetry

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“Nought loves another as itself,Nor venerates another so,Nor is it possible to thoughtA greater than itself to know. “And, father, how can I love youOr any of my brothers more?I love you like the little birdThat picks up crumbs around the door.” The Priest sat by and heard the child;In trembling zeal he seized his […]

A Poison Tree

Story type: Poetry

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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 watered it in fearsNight and morning with my tears,And I sunned it with smilesAnd with soft deceitful wiles. And it grew both day and night,Till it bore an […]

Infant Sorrow

Story type: Poetry

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My mother groaned, my father wept:Into the dangerous world I leapt,Helpless, naked, piping loud,Like a fiend hid in a cloud. Struggling in my father’s hands,Striving against my swaddling-bands,Bound and weary, I thought bestTo sulk upon my mother’s breast.

Pity would be no moreIf we did not make somebody poor,And Mercy no more could beIf all were as happy as we. And mutual fear brings Peace,Till the selfish loves increaseThen Cruelty knits a snare,And spreads his baits with care. He sits down with his holy fears,And waters the ground with tears;Then Humility takes its […]

The Book Of Thel

Story type: Poetry

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Thel’s Motto Does the Eagle know what is in the pit?Or wilt thou go ask the Mole:Can Wisdom be put in a silver rod?Or Love in a golden bowl? THE BOOK of THEL The Author & Printer Willm. Blake. 1780 THEL I The daughters of Mne Seraphim led round their sunny flocks,All but the youngest: […]

A Divine Image

Story type: Poetry

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Cruelty has a human heart,And Jealousy a human face;Terror the human form divine,And Secresy the human dress. The human dress is forged iron,The human form a fiery forge,The human face a furnace sealed,The human heart its hungry gorge.

To Terzah

Story type: Poetry

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Whate’er is born of mortal birthMust be consumed with the earth,To rise from generation free:Then what have I to do with thee?The sexes sprang from shame and pride,Blown in the morn, in evening died;But mercy changed death into sleep;The sexes rose to work and weep. Thou, mother of my mortal part,With cruelty didst mould my […]

The Schoolboy

Story type: Poetry

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I love to rise on a summer morn,When birds are singing on every tree;The distant huntsman winds his horn,And the skylark sings with me:Oh what sweet company! But to go to school in a summer morn, —Oh it drives all joy away!Under a cruel eye outworn,The little ones spend the dayIn sighing and dismay. Ah […]

Children of the future age,Reading this indignant page,Know that in a former timeLove, sweet love, was thought a crime. In the age of gold,Free from winter’s cold,Youth and maiden bright,To the holy light,Naked in the sunny beams delight. Once a youthful pair,Filled with softest care,Met in garden brightWhere the holy lightHad just removed the curtains […]