The Garden of Love

A Poem by William Blake

I went to the Garden of Love,
And saw what I never had seen:
A Chapel was built in the midst,
Where I used to play on the green.

And the gates of this Chapel were shut,
And Thou shalt not. writ over the door;
So I turn’d to the Garden of Love,
That so many sweet flowers bore. 

And I saw it was filled with graves,
And tomb-stones where flowers should be:
And Priests in black gowns, were walking their rounds,
And binding with briars, my joys & desires.

[Background and Analysis of The Garden of Love]

The Divine Image

A Poem by William Blake

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
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,
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,
Love, Mercy, Pity, Peace.

And all must love the human form,
In heathen, Turk, or Jew;
Where Mercy, Love, and Pity dwell
There God is dwelling too.

[Background and Analysis of The Divine Image]

Song: How sweet I roam’d from field to field

A Poem by William Blake

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 through his gardens fair,
         Where all his golden pleasures grow.

With sweet May dews my wings were wet,
         And Phoebus fir’d 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.

[Analysis of Song: How sweet I roam’d from field to field]

Introduction to the Songs of Innocence

A Poem by William Blake

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; 
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, 
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. 
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

[Analysis of Introduction to the Songs of Innocence]

The Chimney Sweeper: A little black thing among the snow

A Poem by William Blake

A little black thing among 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 smil’d among the winter’s snow,
They clothed me in the clothes of death,
And taught me to sing the notes of woe.

And because I am happy and dance and sing,
They think they have done me no injury,
And are gone to praise God and his Priest and King,
Who make up a heaven of our misery.”

[Analysis of The Chimney Sweeper: A little black thing among the snow]

Mad Song

A Poem by William Blake

The wild winds weep, 
         And the night is a-cold;
Come hither, Sleep,
         And my griefs infold:
But lo! the morning peeps
         Over the eastern steeps,
And the rustling birds 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 croud,
         And with night will go;
I turn my back to the east,
From whence comforts have increas’d;
For light doth seize my brain
With frantic pain.

[Analysis of Mad Song]