Skip to main content

Full text of "The poems of William Blake"

See other formats


THE POEMS OF WILLIAM BLAKE 



THE POEMS OF 



WILLIAM BLAKE 

EDITED AND ARRANGED 

WITH A PREFACE BY 

JOHN SAMPSON 

D.LITT. 




AT THE FLORENCE PRESS 

LONDON: CHATTO & WINDUS 

M-CM-XXI 



PR 



5 



PREFACE 

THERE is something of homage and fitness in pro- 
ducing the poems of Blake in a form which would 
have appealed to that artist-poet, and in a character 
this Florence type which for him might well have 
symbolized the birthplace of his hero Michelangelo. 
True we must relinquish the exquisite designs which 
Blake interwove with the fabric of his verse, yet there 
may still be a positive advantage in reading these 
poems as poetry and nothing more, rather than in 
viewing them as ' fairy missals ' or as ' pictures singing/ 
Our text too, as the reader may wish to be assured, is a 
faithful reproduction of the original, unmixed with the 
seconds of ingenious editors. Every word, as Catherine 
Blake said of a dearly prized copy of the * Songs of 
Innocence, 'is Blake's own. 

In this edition, besides the songs and lyrics which 
form the greater part of its content, are included 
Blake's criticism of art and life in the shape of epigrams 



PREFACE 

and satirical pieces; and his perfervid if heterodox 
confession of faith, 'The Everlasting Gospel.' The 
lover of Blake therefore will find here all that part 
of his poetry which may be said to possess a definite 
metrical form, the writings excluded as without the 
scope of this series being the earlier and later Pro- 
phetic Books and the unfinished 'French Revolution/ 
Consigned to an Appendix are certain verses, which 
for various reasons it seemed undesirable to range 
among others written at the same time. In fairness to 
Blake we should remember that these pieces, written 
for his own amusement, have been unearthed from 
MS. sources by other hands, and would probably never 
have been published by the author himself. 

The text here given, which is derived from my 
Oxford edition of 1905, scrupulously reproduces that 
of Blake's printed, manuscript, or engraved books, the 
correction of a few obvious misprints in the ' Poetical 
Sketches' solely excepted. In the case of poems from 
the 'Rossetti MS.,' several of which were left by the 
author in rude draft, or with successive attempts at per- 
fection, the final version has been adopted, save where 
the earlier is manifestly the finer. For these variant 
readings which shed an instructive light upon Blake's 
craftsmanship, the reader may be referred to either 
of the Oxford editions in which they are given in full. 
vi 



PREFACE 

\ 

I have adhered generally to Blake's own spelling, 
where, as in such words as 'desart,' 'lilly,' 'plow/ 
' tyger/it was also that of his contemporaries, and have 
followed his use of -d and -ed (here printed -'d and -ed) 
to distinguish between the elision or accentuation of 
the final syllable of the preterite. Blake's capitals have 
been retained wherever they serve an artistic pur- 
pose, or emphasize a symbolic phrase, though his in- 
consistent use of them in MS. poems has necessitated 
a few insertions and omissions. In the case of the 
'Poetical Sketches 'where the printer has ruthlessly 
levelled Blake's majuscules, I have ventured to restore 
them in accordance with his general practice. The 
ampersand ('and' per se 'and') occasionally found in 
the engraved as well as in the MS. poems has been 
expanded throughout. 

One further observation may be made. Since a few 
of the 'Songs of Experience' as well as several of 
Blake's later poems are written in the prophetic spirit 
and symbolic language in which he expresses his 
mystical creed, it is clear that in editions like the 
present, the scheme of which forbids explanatory 
notes, these pieces must present many obscurities to 
readers unfamiliar with his thought and terminology. 
Such a poem as 'The Mental Traveller,' in which 
Blake embodies his doctrine of the mental states 
b vii 



PREFACE 

through which man's spirit passes and returns 'in end- 
less circle/ would be unintelligible without exegetical 
notes, and those who would find the key may consult 
the earlier Oxford edition, in which Blake is made 
his own interpreter by parallelisms drawn from the 
greater Prophetic Books. But it remains none the less 
true that whatever view may be held of the value of 
Blake's gospel, his poems must stand or fall by their 
merit as poetry. Writing to me some years ago of one 
of the lyrics in the 'MS. Book, ''My Spectre around me 
night and day, 'a transatlantic Blake collector observed 
that, whatever the meaning, and on this he hazarded 
'no opinion, it struck him as 'a poem written with con- 
siderable vim'; and it is probably for this sterling 
quality that it will find readers, not because of the 
doctrine of the separation and reunion of the intel- 
lectual and affective sides of man's nature, which Blake 
intended it to convey. 

While the arrangement of the poems here adopted 
is as far as may be chronological, it must be recognized 
that we cannot walk day by day with Blake as we may 
with Keats in the edition of Sir Sidney Colvin. For this 
there are several reasons. Blake's poems, excepting 
a few contained in his letters to friends, are undated, 
and it is only by inferences drawn from their subject, 
treatment, and position in the MSS. that they can be 
viii 



PREFACE 

\ 

assigned to a particular year or period. Even when the 
year is supplied, as in most of the engraved books, it 
cannot be accepted unreservedly, since it was Blake's 
impetuous but misleading practice to begin with the 
title-page, the date on which in several instances long 
anticipates the completion of the work. He gives us an 
Incipit but no Colophon. Thus while the ' Songs of Ex- 
perience' are dated 1794, a knowledge of the gradual 
evolution of Blake's symbolism renders it certain that 
one poem ' To Tirzah ' must have been written almost 
adecade later. Theearly idyll ' Thel/with the imprint 
'The Author & Printer Will m Blake, 1789,' has been 
converted into a Prophetic Book by a supplementary 
section written in the spirit of the 'Visions of the 
Daughters,' 1793. So too his 'Gates of Paradise/ en- 
graved in 1793, was re-issued without change of date 
but with important additions not much earlier than 1810. 
Furthermore Blake's mode of composition must always 
be taken into account. Few of his verses were struck off 
at a blow. Ideas for poems were hastily jotted down in 
his 'MS. Book,' where they often smouldered for years, 
some like 'The Tyger ' to burst into flame, others to lie 
there unfinished or undergoing successive changes, or 
like his quatrain ' The Lilly ' to be so retouched in 
another mood as to assume an entirely different com- 
plexion. It is therefore not possible to present Blake's 

ix 



PREFACE 

poems in the exact order of their composition, even 
could this be done without destroying the unity of such 
collections as the * Songs of Innocence/ the 'Songs of 
Experience/ and the strange medley of the 'Pickering 
MS/ Their sequence may best be indicated by a brief 
historical account of Blake's writings, and the sources 
from which the various sections in this edition have 
been derived. 

William Blake, the son of a London hosier, was born 
in Golden Square, November 28, 1737, and apprenticed 
in 1771 to the engraver Basire. Even as a child he saw 
visions, now of a tree filled with angels, their wings 
'bespangling every bough like stars/ and again of 
angelic figures walking among haymakers at their 
work. Pure vision too are his early poems, composed 
between his twelfth and twentieth years one 'How 
sweet I roam'd from field to field* being written be- 
fore he reached the age of fourteen. These juvenilia, 
collectedinthe 'Poetical Sketches' of 1783, reflect an im- 
pulse derived from the older dramatists, and quickened 
doubtless by his youthful studies of 'gothic monuments ' 
in the Abbey and City churches. More than one of 
these lyrics might have been torn from the leaves 
of an Elizabethan song-book, yet they are rebirth 
rather than imitation. As Malkin his first biographer 
observes: 'He has dared to venture on the ancient 



PREFACE 

simplicity; and, feeling it in his own character and 
manners, has succeeded better than those who have 
only seen it through a glass/ Blake's attitude to the 
feeble poetasters of his own age appears in his ad- 
dress 'To the Muses, 'and in his scornful reference to 
the 'tinkling rhymes and elegances terse' of decadent 
Augustans. These early poems we are told were 
printed at the expense of his well-wishers, the Rev. 
Henry Mathew and John Flaxman, the sculptor, who 
presented the sheets to Blake to dispose of as he 
thought fit. The gift must have been kindly meant, 
though the manner of it left something to be desired. 
The patronizing note of Mathew's 'Advertisement' 
and its apologetic reference to 'the irregularities and 
defects to be found in almost every page' could 
scarcely have been pleasing to the author. The proofs 
do not seem to have been submitted to Blake for cor- 
rection, and the book contains some bad misprints, 
perhaps among them the much debated 'beds' for 
' birds ' in the ' Mad Song.' Even the title, which cannot 
have been of his own coinage, must have proved an 
added source of offence, since Blake himself used the 
word 'sketch, 'as in the lines on 'Florentine Ingrati- 
tude,' in a contemptuous sense to denote the antithesis 
of a drawing where ' every line . . . has meaning.' It 
was probably these reasons, as much as the inartistic 

xi 



PREFACE 

contrast between the 'Sketches' and the books pro- 
duced by his own illuminated printing, that led Blake 
to ignore it in his ' Prospectus* of October 1793, and to 
content himself with presenting a very few copies to 
personal friends. The ' less partial public ' to whom the 
Advertisement appealed for reproof or confirmation 
of the belief that these poems 'possessed a poetic 
originality which merited some respite from oblivion* 
was thus never given an opportunity of expressing 
an opinion. The ' Sketches ' conclude somewhat 
feebly with four experiments in rhetorical prose, imi- 
tative of 'Ossian' or the once popular 'Death of 
Abel': none need regret their necessary exclusion 
here. The two poems 'Song by a Shepherd' and 
'Song by an Old Shepherd,' which I place in square 
parentheses at the end of the ' Poetical Sketches,' are 
not part of the work as first printed, but are manuscript 
additions on the fly-leaves of a presentation copy dated 
May 13, 1784, where they occur beside an early version 
of the 'Laughing Song,' there entitled 'Song 2d by a 
Young Shepherd.' 

The next of Blake's writings which has come down 
to us is the short prose extravaganza called 'An Island 
in the Moon,' an imperfect and unfinished holograph 
of sixteen foolscap leaves which may be assigned to the 
year 1784. Placed in the mouths of the various characters 
xii 



PREFACE 

are several ditties, three of which I print in the body of 
the text, and the remainder in the Appendix. Some of 
these are intentional doggerel, but two at least the 
lines on 'Matrimony' and the savage attack on surgery 
in 'Old Corruption* are not without merits of their 
own, and reveal Blake in unwonted moods. Besides 
these we find in the 'Island* the original versions of the 
'Nurse's Song/ ' Holy Thursday/ and ' The Little Boy 
Lost/ which Blake, five years later, with some changes, 
incorporated in his 'Songs of Innocence/ 

Foreshadowed in this crude satire is Blake's inven- 
tion of Illuminated Printing, which he first employed in 
1788, probably in the two tiny tractates on Natural Re- 
ligion, and continued to use thenceforward with beauti- 
ful effect in the 'Songs' and in the earlier and later 
Prophetic Books. By this process in 1789 he produced 
his 'Book of Thel/ which, in its first form, is still a 
limpid pool untroubled by angels (or demons) of the 
darker brink. 'Tiriel/ a rather earlier piece in the 
same fourteen-syllable measure, survived in MS. until 
printed by Mr. W. M. Rossetti in 1874. The first serious 
symptom of Blake's mythomania, its chief interest for 
us is a pathological one. 

It was probably in 1789 also that Blake wrote his first 
book of the ' French Revolution, 'a work which, invert- 
ing his own phrase, may best be described as history 

xiii 



PREFACE 

seen 'through, not with, the eye.' This visionary 
account of the Convocation of the Notables has been 
preserved for us in a unique proof impression bearing 
the imprint of the publisher J. Johnson with the date 
1791. For some reason, perhaps a political one (for 
Johnson, the friend of Paine and Godwin, was a person 
suspect), this Book the First was never published, 
and the remaining six books, which according to the 
'Advertisement' 'are finished and will be published in 
their Order/ have disappeared, if indeed they ever 
existed. 

In the same year as ' Thel ' and with the same deli- 
cate and delightful artistry Blake engraved his ' Songs 
of Innocence, 'some few copies of which, printed from 
thirty-one plates and coloured by his own hand, were 
issued to private purchasers from time to time during 
the next few years. These early issues include four 
songs ('The Little Girl Lost,' 'The Little Girl Found,' 
'The Voice of the Ancient Bard,' and 'The School- 
boy '), which later were generally transferred to the 
' Songs of Experience.' 

In 1790 Blake published his prose 'Marriage of 
Heaven and Hell,' an amazing counterblast, to Swe- 
denborg's 'Wisdom of Angels.' Among the marginal 
notes in his copy of the English translation of this book 
published in 1787, we may trace the source of the title 
xiv 



PREFACE 

in the comment ' Good and Evil are here both Good, 
and the two contraries Married/ 

The years 1792 and 1793 mark a period in Blake's 
thought characterized by a passionate revolt against 
any form of restrictive code, and by that darker and 
estranged outlook on life which finds expression in ' A 
Song of Liberty ' (c. 1792) and the 'Visions of the 
Daughters of Albion' (1793) as well as in the ' Songs of 
Experience/ The latter book, a companion volume to 
the 'Songs of Innocence/ bears the date 1794, though 
some of the songs, as I have pointed out, must have 
been engraved later, and many had certainly been 
written a year or two earlier, since no less than eigh- 
teen are found in fair transcript in the 'Rossetti MS/ 
On the completion of the ' Songs of Experience' Blake 
added a general title-page: 'Songs of Innocence and 
of Experience: Shewing the Two Contrary States 
of the Human Soul/ these two books thenceforward 
being issued together as a single work. There was, it 
should be explained, no real edition of this or any 
other of Blake's engraved books, but separate copies 
were printed and coloured from time to time, most of 
them in the last years of Blake's life. Locked up for the 
most part in private libraries of wealthy book-lovers 
they won Blake no fame. 

The arrangement of the songs differs considerably 

xv 



PREFACE 

in the several impressions. In the Monckton Milnes 
copy (with the water-mark 1818) Blake supplies an 
index giving 'The Order in which the "Songs of 
Innocence and of Experience" ought to be paged and 
placed/ But this order he did not adhere to himself, 
and a different one adopted in most of the later issues is 
followed in the present edition. One song 'A Divine 
Image/ written as the contrary to the infinitely finer 
'The Divine Image* of the 'Songs of Innocence/ 
though engraved by Blake was never included by him 
in any copy issued during his lifetime. I place it here in 
parentheses between 'The Clod and the Pebble' and 
'Holy Thursday/ the position suggested by its innocent 
counterpart. 

Next in order, or indeed virtually contemporaneous 
with the ' Songs of Experience/ are the Earlier Poems 
from the 'Rossetti MS. /otherwise known as the 'MS. 
Book/ a foolscap quarto of fifty-eight leaves, which 
Blake had used for small designs and drawings since 
1790. Three years later, when many of the pages were 
thus filled, he reversed the volume and converted it 
into a note-book for poetry. On these leaves, besides 
the transcripts or first versions of the ' Songs of Ex- 
perience/ we find a number of short poems, written 
before the end of the year 1793, which were never en- 
graved or otherwise published during the poet's life- 
xvi 



PREFACE 

time. Even more explicitly than the ' Songs of Experi- 
ence* the lyrics in this group are an outcry against 
'creeds that refuse and restrain/ and expressly take as 
their theme the repulse of natural love in the name of 
conventional morality. To some of the shorter pieces 
in thissection, chiefly quatrains or couplets, I have given 
the title 'Gnomic Verses/ and with them have included 
a few others of the same character drawn from other 
sources. To particularize, nos. xvi.-xxiii. come from 
the later section of the 'Rossetti MS./ no. xxiv. from 
'Thel/ no. xxv. from ' The Marriage of Heaven and 
Hell/ and no. xxvi. from 'The Four Zoas/ 

We know of no lyrical poems by Blake between 
1794 and 1800, during which years he was occupied 
with the writing and engraving of the seven pro- 
phecies known as the Lambeth Books (1793-9.5), and 
the composition, transcription, and illustration of the 
longest of his mystical poems, 'The Four Zoas/ The 
title-page of this work is dated 1797, though internal 
evidence proves that the revision of the manuscript 
was the labour of another six years. 

A new era in Blake's life opens in September 1800, 
when at the invitation of Hayley he removed from 
Lambeth to a Sussex village. Here, under the 'mild in- 
fluence of lovely Felpham/ his troubles dropped from 
his shoulders like Christian's burden. He saw 'happi- 

xvii 



PREFACE 

ness stretch'd across the hills/ He writes to a friend: 
'Heaven opens here on all sides her golden gates: her 
windows are not obstructed by vapours; voices of 
celestial inhabitants are more distinctly heard, and 
their forms more distinctly seen; and my cottage is 
also a shadow of their houses/ This spirit of joy and 
recovered serenity is reflected in the 'Poems from 
Letters/ addressed to the Flaxmans and the Butts 
(1800-3). 

To these three years of spiritual exaltation belong 
the lyrics contained in the smaller holograph known 
as the 'Pickering MS/ For whom this fair transcript 
of ten poems was made remains unknown ; but it has 
preserved for us some of Blake's loveliest verse, as well 
as some of his most cryptic or crabbed symbolism. 
Altogether in the variety of its contents it is a singular 
collection. Two poems, 'Mary* and 'William Bond/ 
the latter of which has been supposed by some to refer 
to an actual occurrence in Blake's life, are his only 
attempts at the ballad since the youthful ' Fair Elenor/ 
suggested by Walpole's 'Castle of Otranto/ Under- 
lying the wide compassion of the 'Auguries of Inno- 
cence* is Blake's reiterated doctrine that 'Everything 
that lives is Holy' all Forms of Being one and identi- 
cal in the Divine Humanity. The theme of the opening 
quatrain, this gift of Innocence which sees a grain of 
xviii 



PREFACE 

sand as a microcosm, is developed and expanded as 
Experience in the sixty-four proverb couplets. The 
order of these proverbs as they appear in the MS. 
obviously cannot represent Blake's final intention, for 
to select a single instance 'it is impossible to believe 
that he would have followed 

'A Truth that's told with bad intent 

Beats all the Lies you can invent/ 
by 

' It is right it should be so ; 

Man was made for Joy and Woe/ 

With as few transpositions as possible I have re- 
arranged these couplets in such a way as to enable the 
poem to be read as a continuous whole. I omit here 
'The Grey Monk/ a fuller version of which is given 
among the 'Later Poems from the Rossetti MS. /and 
place 'Long John Brown' in the Appendix, where 
whoso will may seek it. 

Soon after his arrival at Felpham Blake again took 
up his old sketch-book, and now writing from the other 
end used it during the next decade for jotting down 
verse and prose. Some of the ' Later Poems from the 
Rossetti MS/ must have preceded those transcribed in 
the 'Pickering MS./ since among the former are the 
rough drafts of two which form part of the smaller col- 
lection. One of these, the 'Monk of Charlemaine/was 

xix 



PREFACE 

afterwards separated by Blake into two pieces, the 
version engraved as part of 'Jerusalem/ and 'The 
Grey Monk' of the ' Pickering MS/ The lines 'I rose 
up at the dawn of day/ which were written under and 
around an entry dated August 1807, may be compared 
with a note upon another page of the 'MS. Book* 
earlier in the same year: 'Tuesday Jan y 20, 1807, be- 
tween two and seven in the evening, Despair/ The 
dedicatory verses 'The Caverns of the Grave* accom- 
panied Blake's water-colour painting of The Last 
Judgement, executed for the Countess of Egremont in 
1808. I append here the artist's dedication 'To the 
Queen' of his Illustrations of Blair's 'Grave* published 
also in 1808, though no draft of this poem appears in the 
'RossettiMS/ 

It was at Felpham also that Blake fully developed 
the elaborate symbolism embodied in the revised MS. 
of 'The Four Zoas/ and in the two large engraved 
prophecies ' Milton* and 'Jerusalem/ Both these books, 
the engraving of which was begun on his return to 
London, bear the date 1804 on the title-page, though 
'Milton* was not completed until 1809, and 'Jerusalem* 
until 1820. The magnificent lines from 'Milton' 

'And did those feet in ancient time 
Walk upon England's mountains green . . / 
xx 



PREFACE 

which form part of the Preface must therefore have 
been composed before 1804, when the engraving was 
begun. The same probably holds true of the lyrics 
from 'Jerusalem.' 

The epigrams and satirical pieces, which I have 
here arranged under the headings 'On Friends and 
Foes,' 'On Art and Artists/ and 'Miscellaneous Epi- 
grams,' display without reserve the 'contrary side* of 
Hayley's 'gentle visionary Blake/ Those in the first 
section, written in an unhappy period of alienation from 
his old friends and patrons by whom he considered that 
he had been misunderstood and ungenerously treated, 
are all taken from the 'Rossetti MS/ and may be dated 
1807-10. The group 'On Art and Artists' (1808-9) con- 
tains nine epigrams found as marginalia in Blake's copy 
of Sir Joshua Reynolds' first eight 'Discourses'; the re- 
mainder, together with the 'Miscellaneous Epigrams/ 
written about the same time, come from the 'MS. 
Book/ 

Blake's ' Gates of Paradise ' in its original form of 1793 
was a small book of emblems ' For Children/ produced 
not in illuminated printing but in ordinary intaglio en- 
graving. The conversion of this book into a digest of 
his symbolic creed was a later idea, carried out in or 
about 1810. To effect this Blake changed the words 
' For Children ' on the title-page to ' For the Sexes/ re- 

xxi 



PREFACE 

touched the plates, altered the legends, and added a 
Prologue, Epilogue, and descriptive couplets entitled 
'The Keys of the Gates/ These verses, as the arabic 
numerals indicate, are interpretative in their new sense 
of the sixteen emblematic designs. 

Blake's last and one of his greatest poems, 'The 
Everlasting Gospel/ in its fire and fury suggests a 
volcano in eruption. It should be read with Swin- 
burne's commentary which will always remain its 
noblest appreciation. The scattered passages from 
which this poem has been pieced together were 
written for the greater part on blank spaces of par- 
tially filled pages in the 'MS. Book'; others on loose 
scraps of paper some of which we know to have been 
lost. As .one of these fragments surrounds the draft 
of Blake's ' Additions to his Catalogue of Pictures: For 
the Year i8io/it is clear that 'The Everlasting Gospel' 
cannot have been completed earlier than that date. 
The poem consists of eight sections (here numbered 
i.-viii.), the sequence of which in most cases Blake 
has himself indicated by catchwords. There are two 
versions of iii., the longer and revised one being that 
here adopted. The prologue, epilogue, and sections 
ii., iii., v. and vi. appear to be complete, but of iv. 
'Did Jesus teach doubt?' and vii. 'Seeing this false 
Christ' we have only the opening lines, 
xxii 



PREFACE 

Henceforth with the exception of the short but ma- 
jestic prose drama 'The Ghost of Abel, '1822 (suggested 
by Byron's 'Cain') Blake's work was entirely pictorial, 
and it is to these last years of his life that we owe some 
of his most sublime designs, among them the Illustra- 
tions of the Book of Job. Despite attacks of illness he 
worked to the last, dying at the age of seventy in 
August 1827. 

% # * # * 

My thanks are due to the Delegates of the Oxford 
University Press for their permission to make use of the 
text contained in my two editions of Blake's Poems 
published by them in 190.5 and 1913. 

JOHN SAMPSON. 



xxm 



CONTENTS 

PREFACE page v 

POETICAL SKETCHES 

To Spring 3 

To Summer 4 

To Autumn 3 

To Winter 6 

To the Evening Star 7 

To Morning 8 

Fair Elenor 9 

Song : How sweet I roam'd from field to field 13 

Song : My silks and fine array 14 

Song : Love and Harmony combine 15 

Song : I love the jocund dance 16 

Song : Memory, hither come 17 

Mad Song 18 
Song: Fresh from the dewy hill, the merry year 19 
Song : When early Morn walks forth in sober 

grey 20 

XXV 



CONTENTS 

To the Muses 21 

Gwin, King of Norway 22 

An Imitation of Spenser 28 

Blind-Man's Buff 31 

King Edward the Third 34 
Prologue, intended for a Dramatic Piece of 

King Edward the Fourth 61 

A War Song to Englishmen 62 

Song by a Shepherd 64 

Song by an Old Shepherd 65 

SONGS FROM 'AN ISLAND IN THE MOON' 

The Song of Phebe and Jellicoe 69 
This city and this country has brought forth 

many mayors 70 

Leave, O leave me to my sorrows 71 

SONGS OF INNOCENCE AND OF EXPERIENCE 
SONGS OF INNOCENCE 

Introduction 75 

The Shepherd 76 

The Ecchoing Green 77 

The Lamb 79 

The Little Black Boy 80 

The Blossom 82 

The Chimney Sweeper 83 
xxvi 



CONTENTS 

The Little Boy Lost 8j> 

The Little Boy Found 86 

Laughing Song 87 

A Cradle Song 88 

The Divine Image 90 

Holy Thursday 91 

Night 92 

Spring 94 

Nurse's Song 96 

Infant Joy 97 

A Dream 98 

On Another's Sorrow 99 

SONGS OF EXPERIENCE 

Introduction 101 

Earth's Answer 102 

The Clod and the Pebble 104 

A Divine Image 105 

Holy Thursday 106 

The Little Girl Lost 107 

The Little Girl Found no 

The Chimney-sweeper 113 

Nurse's Song 114 

The Sick Rose 115 

The Fly 116 

The Angel 117 

xxvii 



CONTENTS 

The Tyger 118 

My Pretty Rose-Tree 120 

Ah ! Sun-Flower 121 

The Lilly 122 

The Garden of Love 123 

The Little Vagabond 124 

London 125 

The Human Abstract 126 

Infant Sorrow 128 

A Poison Tree 129 

A Little Boy Lost 130 

A Little Girl Lost 132 

To Tirzah 134 

The Schoolboy 133 

The Voice of the Ancient Bard 137 

EARLIER POEMS FROM THE ROSSETTI MS. 

Never seek to tell thy Love 141 

I laid me down upon a Bank 142 

I saw a Chapel all of Gold 143 

I asked a Thief 144 

I heard an Angel singing 143 

A Cradle Song 146 

Silent, silent Night 147 

I fear'd the fury of my wind 148 

Infant Sorrow 149 
xxviii 



CONTENTS 

Why should I care for the men of Thames 151 

Thou hast a lap full of seed 132 

To my Myrtle 153 

To Nobodaddy 154 

Are not the joys of morning sweeter 153 

The Wild Flower's Song 136 

Day 1,57 

The Fairy 138 
Motto to the Songs of Innocence and of 

Experience 159 

Lafayette 160 

A Fairy leapt upon my knee 162 

GNOMIC VERSES 

They said this mystery never shall cease 165 

An Answer to the Parson 165 

Lacedaemonian Instruction 166 

Love to faults is always blind 166 

There souls of men are bought and sold 166 

Soft Snow 167 

Abstinence sows sand all over 167 

Merlin's Prophecy 168 

If you trap the moment before it's ripe 168 

An Old Maid early ere I knew 168 

The sword sung on the barren heath 169 

O lapwing ! thou fliest around the heath 169 

xxix 



CONTENTS 

Terror in the house does roar 169 
Several Questions Answered 

Eternity 170 

The look of love alarms 170 

Soft deceit and idleness 170 

What is it men in women do require 171 

An ancient Proverb 171 

Riches 172 

Since all the Riches of this world 172 

If I e'er grow to Man's estate 172 

The Angel that presided o'er my birth 173 

Grown old in love from seven till seven times 

seven 173 
Do what you will this life's a fiction 173 
Great things are done when Men and Moun- 
tains meet 173 
To God 174 
Nail his neck to the Cross 174 
Thel's Motto 174 
Prayers plow not 17^ 
Till thou dost conquer the distrest 17.5 

POEMS FROM LETTERS 

To my Dearest Friend, John Flaxman, these 

lines 179 
To my dear Friend, Mrs. Anna Flaxman 180 

XXX 



CONTENTS 

To Thomas Butts : To my friend Butts I write 181 
To Mrs. Butts 185 

To Thomas Butts : With Happiness stretch'd 

across the hills 186 

To Thomas Butts : O ! why was I born with a 

different face ? 190 

THE PICKERING MS. 

The Smile 193 

The Golden Net 194 

The Mental Traveller , 196 

The Land of Dreams 202 

Mary 203 

The Crystal Cabinet 206 

/Auguries of Innocence 208 

William Bond 214 

LATER POEMS FROM THE ROSSETTI MS. 

My Spectre around me night and day 219 

Mock on, Mock on, Voltaire, Rousseau 223 

I saw a Monk of Charlemaine 224 

Morning 227 

The Birds 228 
You don't believe I won't attempt to make ye 229 

If it is true what the Prophets write 230 

Why was Cupid a Boy 231 

xxxi 



CONTENTS 

I rose up at the dawn of day 232 

The Caverns of the Grave I've seen 234 

To the Queen 233 

POEMS FROM 'MILTON' AND 'JERUSALEM' 

And did those feet in ancient time 239 

Reader! . . . of books . . . of Heaven 240 

Such Visions have appear 'd to me 241 

The fields from Islington to Marybone 242 

Each Man is in his Spectre's power 247 

I saw a Monk of Charlemaine 248 

I give you the end of a golden string 2^0 

England ! awake ! awake ! awake ! 231 

In Heaven the only Art of Living 232 

EPIGRAMS AND SHORT SATIRICAL PIECES 
ON FRIENDS AND FOES 

I am no Homer's Hero you all know 255 

Anger and Wrath my bosom rends 25,5 

If you play a Game of Chance, know, before 

you begin 2^5 

Of Hayley's birth: Of H 's birth this was 

the happy lot 256 

On Hayley : To forgive Enemies H does 

pretend 236 

xxxii 



CONTENTS 

To Hayley: Thy Friendship oft has made 

my heart to ake 256 

On Hayley's Friendship: When H y finds 

out what you cannot do 2^6 

On Hayley the Pickthank: I write the Rascal 

thanks, till he and I 2.57 

My title as a Genius thus is prov'd 2.57 

To Flaxman : You call me Mad, 'tis folly to do so 257 
To Flaxman: I mock thee not, though I by 

thee am mocked 257 

To Nancy Flaxman: How can I help thy 

Husband's copying Me ? 258 

To Flaxman and Stothard: I found them 

blind : I taught them how to see 258 

To Stothard: You all your Youth observ'd 

the Golden Rule 2^8 

Cromek speaks : I always take my judgment 

from a Fool 2,59 

On Stothard: You say reserve and modesty 

he has 2.59 

On Stothard: S , in Childhood, on the 

nursery floor 239 

Mr. Stothard to Mr. Cromek: For Fortune's 

favours you your riches bring 260 

Mr. Cromek to Mr. Stothard: Fortune favours 

the Brave, old proverbs say 260 

xxxiii 



CONTENTS 

On Cromek: Cr loves artists as he loves 

his Meat 260 

On Cromek: A Petty Sneaking Knave I knew 261 
On Phillips : P loved me not as he lov'd 

his friends 261 

On William Haines: The Sussex men are 

noted Fools 261 

On Fuseli : The only Man that e'er I knew 262 
To Hunt: 'Madman* I have been call'd 262 

To Hunt: You think Fuseli is not a Great 

Painter 262 

On certain Mystics: Cosway, Frazer, and 

Baldwin of Egypt's Lake 263 

And his legs carried it like a long fork 263 

For this is being a Friend just in the nick 266 
Was I angry with Hayley who us'd me so ill 266 
Having given great offence by writing in Prose 267 

ON ART AND ARTISTS 

Advice of the Popes who succeeded the Age 
of Raphael 269 

On the great encouragement given by English 
Nobility and Gentry to Correggio, Rubens, 
Reynolds, Gainsborough, Catalani, Du 
Crow, and Dilbury Doodle 269 

I asked my dear friend Orator Prig 270 

xxxiv 



CONTENTS 

O dear Mother Outline ! of wisdom most sage 270 
On the Foundation of the Royal Academy 271 
These are the Idiots' chiefest arts 271 

The Cripple every step drudges and labours 272 
You say their Pictures well painted be 272 

English Encouragement of Art: Cromek's 

opinions put into rhyme 273 

When I see a Rubens, Rembrandt, Correggio 273 
Give Pensions to the Learned Pig 274 

On Sir Joshua Reynolds' disappointment at his 

first impressions of Raphael 274 

Sir Joshua praised Rubens with a smile 274 

Sir Joshua praises Michael Angelo 275 

Can there be anything more mean 275 

To the Royal Academy 276 

Florentine Ingratitude 277 

No real Style of Colouring ever appears 278 
When Sir Joshua Reynolds died 278 

A Pitiful Case 278 

On Sir Joshua Reynolds 279 

I, Rubens, am a Statesman and a Saint 279 

On the school of Rubens 279 

To English Connoisseurs 280 

A Pretty Epigram for the encouragement of 

those Who have paid great sums in the 

Venetian and Flemish ooze 280 

XXXV 



CONTENTS 

Raphael, sublime, majestic, graceful, wise 281 
On the Venetian Painter 281 

A pair of Stays to mend the Shape 281 

Venetian ! all thy Colouring is no more 282 

To Venetian Artists 282 

All Pictures that's painted with sense and with 

thought 283 

Call that the Public Voice which is their Error ! 283 
Now Art has lost its Mental Charms 284 

MISCELLANEOUS EPIGRAMS 

His whole Life is an Epigram, smart, smooth, 

and neatly pen'd 283 

He has observed the Golden Rule 285 

Some people admire the work of a Fool 283 

He's a Blockhead who wants a proof of what 

he can't perceive 283 

Great Men and Fools do often me inspire 286 
Some men, created for destruction, come 286 
An Epitaph : Come knock your heads against 

this stone 286 

Another : I was buried near this dyke 286 

Another: Here lies John Trot, the Friend of 

all Mankind 287 

When France got free, Europe, 'twixt Fools 

and Knaves 287 

xxxvi 



CONTENTS 

Imitation of Pope : a compliment to the Ladies 287 

To Chloe's breast young Cupid slyly stole 287 

VERSES FROM 'FOR THE SEXES: 
THE GATES OF PARADISE' 

Prologue: Mutual Forgiveness of each Vice 291 

Legends to the Plates 291 

The Keys of the Gates 292 
Epilogue: To the Accuser who is The God 

of this World 294 

THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL 297 
APPENDIX 

FROM 'AN ISLAND IN THE MOON' 

Little Phoebus came strutting in 315 

Honour and Genius is all I ask 313 

When Old Corruption first begun 316 
Hear then the pride and knowledge of a Sailor 318 

Lo ! the Bat with leathern wing 318 

Want Matches ? 319 

As I walk'd forth one May morning 319 

Hail Matrimony, made of Love 320 

To be or not to be 321 

O, I say, you Joe 323 

There's Doctor Clash 324 

xxx vii 



CONTENTS 

FROM THE 'ROSSETTI MS/ 

I will tell you what Joseph of Arimathea 325 

Then old Nobodaddy aloft 323 

When Klopstock England defied 326 
On the virginity of the Virgin Mary and 

Johanna Southcott 327 

When a man has married a Wife 327 

And in melodious accents I 327 

The Washerwoman's Song 327 

When you look at a picture 328 
These verses were written by a very envious 

man 328 

FROM THE 'PICKERING MS/ 

Long John Brown and Little Mary Bell 329 

INDEX OF FIRST LINES 333 



XXXVlll 



POETICAL SKETCHES 



POETICAL SKETCHES 

TO SPRING 

OTHOU with dewy locks, who lookest down 
Thro' the clear windows of the morning, turn 
Thine angel eyes upon our Western Isle, 
Which in full choir hails thy approach, O Spring! 

The hills tell each other, and the list'ning 
Valleys hear ; all our longing eyes are turned 
Up to thy bright pavillions: issue forth, 
And let thy holy feet visit our clime. 

Come o'er the Eastern hills, and let our winds 
Kiss thy perfumed garments ; let us taste 
Thy morn and evening breath ; scatter thy pearls 
Upon our love-sick land that mourns for thee. 

O deck her forth with thy fair fingers; pour 
Thy soft kisses on her bosom ; and put 
Thy golden crown upon her languish'd head, 
Whose modest tresses were bound up for thee. 



POETICAL SKETCHES 



TO SUMMER 

OTHOU who passest thro* our valleys in 
Thy strength, curb thy fierce steeds, allay the heat 
That flames from their large nostrils ! thou, O Summer, 
Oft pitched'st here thy golden tent, and oft 
Beneath our oaks hast slept, while we beheld 
With joy thy ruddy limbs and flourishing hair. 

Beneath our thickest shades we oft have heard 

Thy voice, when noon upon his fervid car 

Rode o'er the deep of Heaven; beside our springs 

Sit down, and in our mossy valleys, on 

Some bank beside a river clear, throw thy 

Silk draperies off, and rush into the stream : 

Our valleys love the Summer in his pride. 

Our bards are fam'd who strike the silver wire : 
Our youth are bolder than the southern swains : 
Our maidens fairer in the sprightly dance: 
We lack not songs, nor instruments of joy, 
Nor ecchoes sweet, nor waters clear as heaven, 
Nor laurel wreaths against the sultry heat. 



POETICAL SKETCHES 



TO AUTUMN 

O AUTUMN, laden with fruit, and stained 
With the blood of the grape, pass not, but sit 
Beneath my shady roof; there thou may'st rest, 
And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe, 
And all the daughters of the year shall dance ! 
Sing now the lusty song of fruits and flowers. 

* The narrow bud opens her beauties to 
The sun, and love runs in her thrilling veins; 
Blossoms hang round the brows of Morning, and 
Flourish down the bright cheek of modest Eve, 
Till clustering Summer breaks forth into singing, 
And feather'd clouds strew flowers round her head. 

'The spirits of the air live on the smells 

Of fruit; and Joy, with pinions light, roves round 

The gardens, or sits singing in the trees/ 

Thus sang the jolly Autumn as he sat ; 

Then rose, girded himself, and o'er the bleak 

Hills fled from our sight; but left his golden load. 




POETICAL SKETCHES 



TO WINTER 

WINTER! bar thine adamantine doors: 
The North is thine ; there hast thou built thy dark 
Deep-founded habitation. Shake not thy roofs, 
Nor bend thy pillars with thine iron car/ 

He hears me not, but o'er the yawning deep 
Rides heavy; his storms are unchain'd, sheathed 
In ribbed steel ; I dare not lift mine eyes, 
For he hath rear'd his sceptre o'er the world. 

Lo ! now the direful monster, whose skin clings 
To his strong bones, strides o'er the groaning rocks: 
He withers all in silence, and in his hand 
Unclothes the Earth, and freezes up frail life. 

He takes his seat upon the cliffs; the mariner 
Cries in vain. Poor little wretch, that deal'st 
With storms ! till Heaven smiles, and the monster 
Is driv'n yelling to his caves beneath mount Hecla. 



POETICAL SKETCHES 



TO THE EVENING STAR 

THOU Fair-hair'd 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 thro 5 the dun forest: 
The fleeces of our flocks are cover'd with 
Thy sacred dew : protect them with thine influence. 



POETICAL SKETCHES 



TO MORNING 

OHOLY Virgin! clad in purest white, 
Unlock Heav'n'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 
Rouz'd like a huntsman to the chace, and with 
Thy buskin'd feet appear upon our hills. 



POETICAL SKETCHES 

FAIR ELENOR 

THE bell struck one, and shook the silent tower; 
The graves give up their dead: Fair Elenor 
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 cheeks. 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; 
Amaz'd, 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 
Wrap'd 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. 



POETICAL SKETCHES 

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 Elenor: 

He's dead, and howling after me for blood ! 



'Take this/ he cry'd; and thrust into her arms 
A wet napkin, wrap'd about; then rush'd 
Past, howling: she received into her arms 
Pale Death, and followed 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 arriv'd. 

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 cry'd ; ' ah, cursed Duke ! 
Ah, my dear Lord ! ah, wretched Elenor ! 
10 



POETICAL SKETCHES 

* 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 flow'r to deck thy horrid temples ? 

'My Lord was like a star in highest heav'n 
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 darkened; like the summer's noon 
Clouded ; fall'n like the stately tree, cut down ; 
The breath of heaven dwelt among his leaves. 
O Elenor, 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: 

ii 



POETICAL SKETCHES 

' O Elenor, I am 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 Elenor, 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. 



12 



POETICAL SKETCHES 



SONG 

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 lillies 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. 



POETICAL SKETCHES 



SONG 

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

His face is fair as heav'n 

When springing buds unfold ; 

O why to him was 't giv'n 

Whose heart is wintry cold ? 

His breast is Love's all-worship'd tomb, 

Where all Love's pilgrims come. 

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



14 



POETICAL SKETCHES 

SONG 

EVE and Harmony combine, 
And around our souls intwine 
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. 



POETICAL SKETCHES 

SONG 

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 ecchoing hill, 
Where mirth does never fail, 
And the jolly swain laughs his fill. 

I love the pleasant cot, 
I love the innocent bow'r, 
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. 
16 



POETICAL SKETCHES 



SONG 

MEMORY, hither come, 
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. 



POETICAL SKETCHES 

MAD SONG 

*n "^HE wild winds weep, 

JL And the night is a-cold ; 
Come hither, Sleep, 
And my griefs unfold : 
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 increas'd 
For light doth seize my brain 
With frantic pain. 
18 



POETICAL SKETCHES 

SONG 

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 : 

O bless those holy feet, like angels' feet; 

O bless those limbs, beaming with heav'nly light ! 

Like as an angel glitt'ring 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-ey'd 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. 

19 



POETICAL SKETCHES 

SONG 

WHEN early Morn walks forth in sober grey, 
Then to my black-ey'd maid I haste away; 
When evening sits beneath her dusky bow'r, 
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 blacLey'd 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, 
Whisp'ring 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. 
20 



POETICAL SKETCHES 



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 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 ! 



21 



POETICAL SKETCHES 



GWIN KING OF NORWAY 

COME, Kings, and listen to my song: 
When Gwin, the son of Nore, 
Over the Nations of the North 
His cruel sceptre bore; 

The Nobles of the land did feed 
Upon the hungry Poor ; 
They tear the poor man's lamb, and drive 
The needy from their door. 

'The land is desolate; our wives 
And children cry for bread ; 
Arise, and pull the tyrant down ! 
Let Gwin be humbled ! ' 

h 

Gordred the Giant rouz'd himself 
From sleeping in his cave ; 
He shook the hills, and in the clouds 
The troubl'd banners wave. 
22 



POETICAL SKETCHES 

r 

Beneath them roll'd, like tempests black, 
The num'rous sons of blood ; 
Like lions' whelps, roaring abroad, 
Seeking their nightly food. 

Down Bleron's hills they dreadful rush, 
Their cry ascends the clouds; 
The trampling horse and clanging arms 
Like rushing mighty floods ! 

y 

Their wives and children, weeping loud, 
Follow in wild array, 
Howling like ghosts, furious as wolves 
In the bleak wintry day. 

' Pull down the tyrant to the dust, 
Let Gwin be humbled,' 
They cry, 'and let ten thousand lives 
Pay for the tyrant's head.' 

t 

From tow'r to tow'r the watchmen cry, 
' O Gwin, the son of Nore, 
Arouse thyself! the Nations, black 
Like clouds, come rolling o'er ! 

23 



POETICAL SKETCHES 

Gwin rear'd his shield, his palace shakes, 
His chiefs come rushing round ; 
Each, like an awful thunder cloud, 
With voice of solemn sound : 

// 

Like reared stones around a grave 
They stand around the King ; 
Then suddenly each seiz'd his spear, 
And clashing steel does ring. 

/ 7 
C 

The husbandman does leave his plow 
To wade thro* fields of gore; 
The merchant binds his brows in steel, 
And leaves the trading shore; 

;*> 

The shepherd leaves his mellow pipe, 
And sounds the trumpet shrill ; 
The workman throws his hammer down 
To heave the bloody bill. 

;? 

Like the tall ghost of Barraton 
Who sports in stormy sky, 
Gwin leads his host as black as night 
When pestilence does fly< 
24 



POETICAL SKETCHES 

( (. 

With horses and with chariots ; 
And all his spearmen bold 
March to the sound of mournful song, 
Like clouds around him roll'd. 

U 

Gwin lifts his hand: the Nations halt; 
* Prepare for war ! ' he cries. 
Gordred appears ! his frowning brow 
Troubles our northern skies. 

'7 

The armies stand, like balances 

Held in th' Almighty's hand; 

4 Gwin, thou has fill'd thy measure up: 

Thou'rt swept from out the land/ 

And now the raging armies rush'd 
Like warring mighty seas; 
The Heav'ns are shook with roaring war, 
The dust ascends the skies ! 



Earth smokes with blood, and groans and shakes 
To drink her children's gore, 
A sea of blood ; nor can the eye 
See to the trembling shore ! 



POETICAL SKETCHES 

And on the verge of this wild sea 
Famine and Death doth cry; 
The cries of women and of babes 
Over the field doth fly. 
1) 

The King is seen raging afar, 
With all his men of might; 
Like blazing comets scattering death 
Thro* the red fev'rous night. 

Beneath his arm like sheep they die, 
And groan upon the plain ; 
The battle faints, and bloody men 
Fight upon hills of slain. 

Now Death is sick, and riven men 
Labour and toil for life ; 
Steed rolls on steed, and shield on shield, 
Sunk in this sea of strife ! 



The God of War is drunk with blood ; 

The earth doth faint and fail ; 

The stench of blood makes sick the Heav'ns 

Ghosts glut the throat of Hell ! 

26 



POETICAL SKETCHES 

*l ^ 

O what have Kings to answer for 
Before that awful throne ; 
When thousand deaths for vengeance cry, 
And ghosts accusing groan ! 

Like blazing comets in the sky 
That shake the stars of light, 
Which drop like fruit unto the earth 
Thro' the fierce burning night; 

Like these did Gwin and Gordred meet, 
And the first blow decides; 
Down from the brow unto the breast 
Gordred his head divides ! 

Gwin fell : the sons of Norway fled, 
All that remain'd alive ; 
The rest did fill the Vale of Death; 
For them the eagles strive. 

1 

The river Dorman roll'd their blood 

Into the Northern Sea; 

Who mourn'd his sons, and overwhelmed 

The pleasant south country. 



POETICAL SKETCHES 



AN IMITATION OF SPENSER 

GOLDEN Apollo, that thro' Heaven wide 
Scatter'st the rays of light, and Truth's beams, 
In lucent words my darkling verses dight, 
And wash my earthy mind in thy clear streams, 
That Wisdom may descend in fairy dreams, 
All while the jocund Hours in thy train 
Scatter their fancies at thy poet's feet; 
And when thou yield'st to Night thy wide domain, 
Let rays of Truth enlight his sleeping brain. 

For brutish Pan in vain might thee assay 
With tinkling sounds to dash thy nervous verse, 
Sound without sense; yet in his rude affray, 
(For ignorance is Folly's leasing nurse 
And love of Folly needs none other's curse) 
Midas the praise hath gain'd of lengthen'd ears, 
For which himself might deem him ne'er the worse 
To sit in council with his modern peers, 
And judge of tinkling rhymes and elegances terse. 
28 



POETICAL SKETCHES 

And thou, Mercurius, that with winged brow 
Dost mount aloft into the yielding sky, 
And thro' Heav'n's halls thy airy flight dost throw, 
Entering with holy feet to where on high 
Jove weighs the counsel of futurity; 
Then, laden with eternal fate, dost go 
Down, like a falling star, from autumn sky, 
And o'er the surface of the silent deep dost fly: 

If thou arrivest at the sandy shore 
Where nought but envious hissing adders dwell, 
Thy golden rod, thrown on the dusty floor, 
Can charm to harmony with potent spell. 
Such is sweet Eloquence, that does dispel 
Envy and Hate that thirst for human gore ; 
And cause in sweet society to dwell 
Vile savage minds that lurk in onely cell. 

Mercury, assist my lab'ring sense 
That round the circle of the world would fly, 
As the wing'd eagle scorns the tow'ry fence 
Of Alpine hills round his high ary, 
And searches thro' the corners of the sky, 
Sports in the clouds to hear the thunder's sound, 
And see the winged lightnings as they fly; 
Then, bosom'd in an amber cloud, around 
Plumes his wide wings, and seeks Sol's palace high. 

29 



POETICAL SKETCHES 

And thou, O Warrior Maid invincible, 

Arm'd with the terrors of Almighty Jove, 

Pallas, Minerva, maiden terrible, 

Lov'st thou to walk the peaceful solemn grove, 

In solemn gloom of branches interwove? 

Or bear'st thy ^Egis o'er the burning field, 

Where, like the sea, the waves of battle move? 

Or have thy soft piteous eyes beheld 

The weary wanderer thro' the desart rove? 

Or does th' afflicted man thy heav'nly bosom move? 



POETICAL SKETCHES 



BLIND-MAN'S BUFF 

WHEN silver snow decks Susan's clothes, 
And jewel hangs at th' shepherd's nose, 
The blushing bank is all my care, 
With hearth so red, and walls so fair; 
' Heap the sea-coal, come, heap it higher, 
The oaken log lay on the fire/ 
The well-wash'd stools, a circling row, 
With lad and lass, how fair the show ! 
The merry can of nut-brown ale, 
The laughing jest, the love-sick tale, 
Till, tir'd of chat, the game begins. 
The lasses prick the lads with pins; 
Roger from Dolly twitch'd the stool, 
She, falling, kiss'd the ground, poor fool ! 
She blush'd so red, with side-long glance 
At hob-nail Dick, who griev'd the chance. 
But now for Blind-man's Buff they call ; 
Of each encumbrance clear the hall. 
Jenny her silken 'kerchief folds, 
And blear-ey'd Will the black lot holds. 
Now laughing stops with ' Silence ! hush ! ' 
And Peggy Pout gives Sam a push. 

3i 



POETICAL SKETCHES 

The Blind-man's arms, extended wide, 

Sam slips between 'O woe betide 

Thee, clumsy Will 1 ' but titt'ring Kate 

Is pen'd up in the corner strait ! 

And now Will's eyes beheld the play; 

He thought his face was t'other way. 

'Now, Kitty, now ! what chance hast thou, 

Roger so near thee ! Trips, I vow ! ' 

She catches him: then Roger ties 

His own head up, but not his eyes ; 

For thro' the slender cloth he sees, 

And runs at Sam, who slips with ease 

His clumsy hold; and, dodging round, 

Sukey is tumbled on the ground. 

'See what it is to play unfair ! 

Where cheating is, there's mischief there. 

But Roger still pursues the chace ; 

' He sees ! he sees ! ' cries softly Grace: 

' O Roger, thou, unskill'd in art, 

Must, surer bound, go thro' thy part.' 

Now Kitty, pert, repeats the rhymes, 

And Roger turns him round three times, 

Then pauses ere he starts; but Dick 

Was mischief bent upon a trick; 

Down on his hands and knees he lay 

Directly in the Blind-man's way, 

32 



POETICAL SKETCHES 

Then cries out 'Hem ! ' Hodge heard, and ran 

With hood-wink'd chance, sure of his man; 

But down he came. Alas, how frail 

Our best of hopes, how soon they fail ! 

With crimson drops he stains the ground ; 

Confusion startles all around. 

Poor piteous Dick supports his head, 

And fain would cure the hurt he made ; 

But Kitty hasted with a key, 

And down his back they strait convey 

The cold relief; the blood is stay'd, 

And Hodge again holds up his head. 

Such are the fortunes of the game, 

And those who play should stop the same 

By wholesome laws; such as all those 

Who on the blinded man impose 

Stand in his stead; as, long a-gone, 

When men were first a nation grown, 

Lawless they liv'd, till wantonness 

And liberty began t' increase, 

And one man lay in another's way; 

Then laws were made to keep fair play. 



33 



POETICAL SKETCHES 

KING EDWARD THE THIRD 

Persons 

King Edward. Lord Audley. 

The Black Prince. Lord Percy. 

Queen Philippa. Bishop. 

Duke of Clarence. William, Dagworth's 

Sir John Chandos. Man. 

Sir Thomas Dagworth. Peter Blunt, a common 

Sir Walter Manny. Soldier. 

SCENE. The Coast of France. King Edward and 
Nobles before it. The Army. 

King: O thou, to whose fury the nations are 
But as dust, maintain thy servant's right ! 
Without thine aid, the twisted mail, and spear, 
And forged helm, and shield of seven times beaten brass 
Are idle trophies of the vanquisher. 
When confusion rages, when the field is in a flame, 
When the cries of blood tear horror from Heav'n, 
And yelling Death runs up and down the ranks, 
Let Liberty, the chartered right of Englishmen, 
34 



POETICAL SKETCHES 

Won by our fathers in many a glorious field, 

Enerve my soldiers; let Liberty 

Blaze in each countenance, and fire the battle. 

The enemy fight in chains, invisible chains, but heavy; 

Their minds are fetter'd, then how can they be free? 

While, like the mounting flame, 

We spring to battle o'er the floods of death ! 

And these fair youths, the flow'r of England, 

Venturing their lives in my most righteous cause, 

O sheathe their hearts with triple steel, that they 

May emulate their fathers' virtues. 

And thou, my son, be strong ; thou fightest for a crown 

That death can never ravish from thy brow, 

A crown of glory but from thy very dust 

Shall beam a radiance, to fire the breasts 

Of youth unborn! Our names are written equal 

In fame's wide-trophied hall; 'tis ours to gild 

The letters, and to make them shine with gold 

That never tarnishes: whether Third Edward, 

Or the Prince of Wales, or Montacute, or Mortimer, 

Or ev'n the least by birth, shall gain the brightest fame, 

Is in His hand to whom all men are equal. 

The world of men are like the num'rous stars 

That beam and twinkle in the depth of night, 

Each clad in glory according to his sphere ; 

But we, that wander from our native seats 



POETICAL SKETCHES 

And beam forth lustre on a darkling world, 
Grow larger as we advance: and some, perhaps 
The most obscure at home, that scarce were seen 
To twinkle in their sphere, may so advance 
That the astonished world, with upturned eyes, 
Regardless of the moon, and those that once were bright, 
Stand only for to gaze upon their splendor. 

[He here knights the Prince, and other young Nobles. 

Now let us take a just revenge for those 
Brave Lords, who fell beneath the bloody axe 
At Paris. Thanks, noble Harcourt, for 'twas 
By your advice we landed here in Brittany, 
A country not yet sown with destruction, 
And where the fiery whirlwind of swift war 
Has not yet swept its desolating wing. 
Into three parties we divide by day, 
And separate march, but join again at night; 
Each knows his rank, and Heav'n marshal all. 

[Exeunt. 

SCENE. English Court. Lionel, Duke of Clarence ; 
Queen Philippa; Lords; Bishop, &c. 

Clarence: My Lords, I have by the advice of her 
Whom I am doubly bound to obey, my Parent 
And my Sovereign, call'd you together. 
36 



POETICAL SKETCHES 

My task is great, my burden heavier than 

My unfledg'd years ; 

Yet, with your kind assistance, Lords, I hope 

England shall dwell in peace; that, while my father 

Toils in his wars, and turns his eyes on this 

His native shore, and sees commerce fly round 

With his white wings, and sees his golden London 

And her silver Thames, throng'd with shining spires 

And corded ships, her merchants buzzing round 

Like summer bees, and all the golden cities 

In his land overflowing with honey, 

Glory may not be dimm'd with clouds of care. 

Say, Lords, should not our thoughts be first to commerce? 

My Lord Bishop, you would recommend us agriculture? 

Bishop : Sweet Prince, the arts of Peace are great, 
And no less glorious than those of War, 
Perhaps more glorious in the philosophic mind. 
When I sit at my home, a private man, 
My thoughts are on my gardens and my fields, 
How to employ the hand that lacketh bread. 
If Industry is in my diocese, 
Religion will flourish; each man's heart 
Is cultivated and will bring forth fruit : 
This is my private duty and my pleasure. 
But, as I sit in council with my Prince, 
My thoughts take in the gen'ral good of the whole, 

37 



POETICAL SKETCHES 

And England is the land favour 'd by Commerce; 
For Commerce, tho' the child of Agriculture, 
Fosters his parent, who else must sweat and toil, 
And gain but scanty fare. Then, my dear Lord, 
Be England's trade our care; and we, as tradesmen, 
Looking to the gain of this our native land. 

Clarence: O my good Lord, true wisdom drops like honey 
From your tongue, as from a worshiped oak. 
Forgive, my Lords, my talkativeyouth, that speaks 
Not merely what my narrow observation has 
Pick'd up, but what I have concluded from your lessons. 
Now, by the Queen's advice, I ask your leave 
To dine to-morrow with the Mayor of London: 
If I obtain your leave, I have another boon 
To ask, which is the favour of your company. 
I fear Lord Percy will not give me leave. 

Percy: Dear Sir, a Prince should always keep his state, 
And grant his favours with a sparing hand, 
Or they are never rightly valued. 
These are my thoughts: yet it were best to go ; 
But keep a proper dignity, for now 
You represent the sacred person of 
Your father; 'tis with Princes as 'tis with the sun; 
If not sometimes o'er-clouded, we grow weary 
Of his officious glory. 

38 



POETICAL SKETCHES 

Clarence: Then you will give me leave to shine sometimes, 
My Lord? 

Lord : Thou hast a gallant spirit, which I fear 
Will be imposed on by the closer sort. [Aside. 

Clarence: Well, I'll endeavour to take 
Lord Percy's advice ; I have been us'd so much 
To dignity that I'm sick on't. 

Queen Phil. : Fie, fie, Lord Clarence ! you proceed not to business, 
But speak of your own pleasures. 
I hope their Lordships will excuse your giddiness. 

Clarence: My Lords, the French have fitted out many 
Small ships of war, that, like to ravening wolves, 
Infest our English seas, devouring all 
Our burden'd vessels, spoiling our naval flocks. 
The merchants do complain and beg our aid. 

Percy: The merchants are rich enough; 
Can they not help themselves ? 

Bishop : They can, and may ; but how to gain their will 
Requires our countenance and help. 

Percy: When that they find they must, my Lord, they will: 
Let them but suffer awhile, and you shall see 
They will bestir themselves. 

Bishop: Lord Percy cannot mean that we should suffer 
This disgrace: if so, we are not Sovereigns 
Of the Sea our right, that Heaven gave 
To England, when at the birth of Nature 

39 



POETICAL SKETCHES 

She was seated in the deep; the Ocean ceas'd 

His mighty roar, and fawning play'd around 

Her snowy feet, and own'd his awful Queen. 

Lord Percy, if the heart is sick, the head 

Must be aggrieved ; if but one member suffer, 

The heart doth fail. You say, my Lord, the merchants 

Can, if they will, defend themselves against 

These rovers: this is a noble scheme, 

Worthy the brave Lord Percy, and as worthy 

His generous aid to put it into practice. 

Percy: Lord Bishop, what was rash in me is wise 
In you; I dare not own the plan. 'Tis not 
Mine. Yet will I, if you please, 
Quickly to the Lord Mayor, and work him onward 
To this most glorious voyage; on which cast 
I'll set my whole estate, 
But we will bring these Gallic rovers under. 

Queen Phil. : Thanks, brave Lord Percy; you have the thanks 
Of England's Queen, and will, ere long, of England. [Exeunt. 

SCENE. At Cressy. Sir Thomas Dagworth and 
Lord Audley meeting. 

Audley : Good morrow, brave Sir Thomas ; the bright morn 
Smiles on our army, and the gallant sun 
Springs from the hills like a young hero 
Into the battle, shaking his golden locks 
40 



POETICAL SKETCHES 

Exultinglj: this is a promising day. 

Dagworth: Why, my Lord Audley, I don't know. 
Give me your hand, and now I'll tell you what 
I think you do not know. Edward's afraid of Philip. 

Audley: Ha! Ha! Sir Thomas ! you but joke ; 
Did you e'er see him fear ? At Blanchetaque, 
When almost singly he drove six thousand 
French from the ford, did he fear then? 

Dagworth: Yes, fear* that made him fight so. 

Audley : By the same reason I might say 'tis fear 
That makes you fight. 

Dagworth: Mayhap you may : look upon Edward's face, 
No one can say he fears; but when he turns 
His back, then I will say it to his face ; 
He is afraid: he makes us all afraid. 
I cannot bear the enemy at my back. 
Now here we are at Cressy; where to-morrow, 
To-morrow we shall know. I say, Lord Audley, 
That Edward runs away from Philip. 

Audley: Perhaps you think the Prince too is afraid? 

Dagworth: No; God forbid ! I'm sure he is not. 
He is a young lion. O ! I have seen him fight 
And give command, and lightning has flashed 
From his eyes across the field: I have seen him 
Shake hands with Death, and strike a bargain for 
The enemy; he has danc'd in the field 

41 



POETICAL SKETCHES 

Of battle, like the youth at morris-play, 

I'm sure he's not afraid, nor Warwick, nor none, 

None of us but me, and I am very much afraid. 

Audley: Are you afraid too, Sir Thomas? 
I believe that as much as I believe 
The King's afraid: but what are you afraid of? 

Dagworth: Of having my back laid open; we turn 
Our backs to the fire, till we shall burn our skirts. 

Audley: And this, Sir Thomas, you call fear? Your fea 
Is of a different kind then from the King's; 
He fears to turn his face, and you to turn your back. 
I do not think, Sir Thomas, you know what fear is. 

Enter Sir John Chandos. 

Chandos: Good morrow, Generals; I give you joy: 
Welcome to the fields of Cressy. Here we stop, 
And wait for Philip. 

Dagworth : I hope so. 

Audley: There, Sir Thomas, do you call that fear? 

Dagworth : I don't know ; perhaps he takes it by fits. 
Why, noble Chandos, look you here, 
One rotten sheep spoils the whole flock ; 
And if the bell-wether is tainted, I wish 
The Prince may not catch the distemper too. 

Chandos: Distemper, Sir Thomas ! what distemper? 
I have not heard. 
42 



POETICAL SKETCHES 

Dagworth: Why, Chandos, you are a wise man, 
know you understand me; a distemper 
'he King caught here in France of running away. 

Audley: Sir Thomas, you say you have caught it too. 

Dagworth : And so will the whole army ; 'tis very catching, 
or, when the coward runs, the brave man totters, 
erhaps the air of the country is the cause, 
feel it coming upon me, so I strive against it ; 
ou yet are whole ; but after a few more 
.etreats, we all shall know how to retreat 
etter than fight. To be plain, I think retreating 
\>o often takes away a soldier's courage. 

Chandos: Here comes the King himself : tell him your thoughts 
lainly, Sir Thomas. 

Dagworth : I've told him before, but his disorder 
lakes him deaf. 

Enter King Edward and Black Prince. 

King: Good morrow, Generals; when English courage fails, 
)own goes our right to France, 
ut we are conquerors everywhere; nothing 
Ian stand our soldiers ; each man is worthy 
)f a triumph. Such an army of heroes 
Je'er shouted to the Heav'ns, nor shook the field, 
dward, my son, thou art 
lost happy, having such command : the man 

43 



POETICAL SKETCHES 

Were base who were not fir'd to deeds 
Above heroic, having such examples. 

Prince: Sire, with respect and deference I look 
Upon such noble souls, and wish myself 
Worthy the high command that Heaven and you 
Have given me. When I have seen the field glow, 
And in each countenance the soul of war 
Curb'd by the manliest reason, I have been wing'd 
With certain victory; and 'tis my boast, 
And shall be still my glory, I was inspir'd 
By these brave troops. 

Dagworth : Your Grace had better make 
Them all generals. 

King: Sir Thomas Dagworth, you must have your joke 
And shall, while you can fight as you did at 
The ford. 

Dagworth : I have a small petition to your Majesty. 

King: What can Sir Thomas Dagworth ask that Edw 
Can refuse? 

Dagworth: I hope your Majesty cannot refuse so great 
A trifle; I've gilt your cause with my best blood, 
And would again, were I not forbid 
By him whom I am bound to obey: my hands 
Are tied up, my courage shrunk and withered, 
My sinews slacken'd, and my voice scarce heard ; 
Therefore I beg I may return to England. 
44 



POETICAL SKETCHES 

King: I know not what you could have ask'd, Sir Thomas, 
That I would not have sooner parted with 
Than such a soldier asyou have been, and such a friend : 
Nay, I will know the most remote particulars 
Of this your strange petition: that, if I can, 
II still may keep you here. 

Dagworth: Here on the fields of Cressy we are settled 
Till Philip springs the tim'rous covey again. 
The Wolf is hunted down by causeless fear ; 
The Lion flees, and fear usurps his heart, 
Startled, astonished at the clam'rous Cock ; 
The Eagle, that doth gaze upon the sun, 
Fears the small fire that plays about the fen. 
If, at this moment of their idle fear, 
The Dog doth seize the Wolf, the Forester the Lion, 
The Negro in the crevice of the rock 
Doth seize the soaring Eagle ; undone by flight, 
They tame submit : such the effect flight has 
On noble souls. Now hear its opposite: 
The tim'rous Stag starts from the thicket wild, 
The fearful Crane springs from the splashy fen, 
The shining Snake glides o'er the bending grass; 
The Stag turns head and bays the crying Hounds, 
The Crane overtaken fighteth with the Hawk, 
The Snake doth turn, and bite the padding foot. 
And if your Majesty's afraid of Philip, 



POETICAL SKETCHES 

You are more like a Lion than a Crane: 
Therefore I beg I may return to England. 

King: Sir Thomas, now I understand your mirth, 
Which often plays with Wisdom for its pastime, 
And brings good counsel from the breast of laughter. 
I hope you'll stay, and see us fight this battle, 
And reap rich harvest in the fields of Cressy ; 
Then go to England, tell them how we fight, 
And set all hearts on fire to be with us. 
Philip is plum'd, and thinks we flee from him, 
Else he would never dare to attack us. Now, 
Now the quarry's set ! and Death doth sport 
In the bright sunshine of this fatal day. 

Dagworth : Now my heart dances, and I am as light 
As the young bridegroom going to be married. 
Now must I to my soldiers, get them ready, 
Furbish our armours bright, new plume our helms; 
And we will sing like the young housewives busied 
In the dairy: my feet are wing'd, but not 
For flight, an please your Grace. 

King : If all my soldiers are as pleas'd as you, 
'Twill be a gallant thing to fight or die; 
Then I can never be afraid of Philip. 

Dagworth: A raw-bon'd fellow t'other day pass'dby ] 
I told him to put off his hungry looks. 
He answer'd me 'I hunger for another battle.' 
46 



POETICAL SKETCHES 

I saw a little Welshman with a fiery face; 

I told him he look'd like a candle half 

Burn'd out; he answer'd he was 'pig enough 

To light another pattle.' Last night, beneath 

The moon I walk'd abroad, when all had pitch'd 

Their tents, and all were still; 

I heard a blooming youth singing a song 

He had composed, and at each pause he wip'd 

His dropping eyes. The ditty was 'If he 

Returned victorious, he should wed a maiden 

Fairer than snow, and rich as midsummer/ 

Another wept, and wish'd health to his father. 

I chid them both, but gave them noble hopes. 

These are the minds that glory in the battle, 

And leap and dance to hear the trumpet sound. 

King: Sir Thomas Dagworth, be thou near our person; 
Thy heart is richer than the vales of France : 
I will not part with such a man as thee. 
If Philip came arm'd in the ribs of Death, 
And shook his mortal dart against my head, 
Thou'dst laugh his fury into nerveless shame ! 
Go now, for thou art suited to the work, 
Throughout the camp ; enflame the timorous, 
Blow up the sluggish into ardour, and 
Confirm the strong with strength, the weak inspire, 
And wing their brows with hope and expectation: 

47 



POETICAL SKETCHES 

Then to our tent return, and meet to council. [Exit Dagwor 

Chandos : That man's a hero in his closet, and more 
A hero to the servants of his house 
Than to the gaping world ; he carries windows 
In that enlarged breast of his, that all 
May see what's done within. 

Prince : He is a genuine Englishman, my Chandos, 
And hath the spirit of Liberty within him. 
Forgive my prejudice, Sir John ; I think 
My Englishmen the bravest people on 
The face of the earth. 

Chandos: Courage, my Lord, proceeds from self-dependi 
Teach man to think he's a free agent, 
Give but a slave his liberty, he'll shake 
Off sloth, and build himself a hut, and hedge 
A spot of ground; this he'll defend; 'tis his 
By right of Nature : thus set in action, 
He will still move onward to plan conveniences, 
Till glory fires his breast to enlarge his castle ; 
While the poor slave drudges all day, in hope 
To rest at night. 

King: O Liberty, how glorious art thou! 
I see thee hov'ring o'er my army, with 
Thy wide-stretch'd plumes ; I see thee 
Lead them on to battle; 
I see thee blow thy golden trumpet, while 
48 



POETICAL SKETCHES 

Thy sons shout the strong shout of victory ! 

O noble Chandos, think thyself a gardener, 

My son a vine, which I commit unto 

Thy care: prune all extravagant shoots, and guide 

Th' ambitious tendrils in the paths of wisdom ; 

Water him with thy advice; and Heav'n 

Rain fresh'ning dew upon his branches ! And, 

O Edward, my dear son ! learn to think lowly of 

Thyself, as we may all each prefer other: 

'Tis the best policy, and 'tis our duty. [Exit King Edward. 

Prince : And may our duty, Chandos, be our pleasure. 
Now we are alone, Sir John, I will unburden, 
And breathe my hopes into the burning air, 
Where thousand Deaths are posting up and down, 
Commissioned to this fatal field of Cressy. 
Methinks I see them arm my gallant soldiers, 
And gird the sword upon each thigh, and fit 
Each shining helm, and string each stubborn bow, 
And dance to the neighing of our steeds. 
Methinks the shout begins, the battle burns; 
Methinks I see them perch on English crests, 
And roar the wild flame of fierce war upon 
The thronged enemy ! In truth I am too full : 
It is my sin to love the noise of war. 
Chandos, thou seest my weakness; strong Nature 
Will bend or break us: my blood, like a springtide, 
e 49 



POETICAL SKETCHES 

Does rise so high to overflow all bounds 

Of moderation ; while Reason, in her 

Frail bark, can see no shore or bound for vast 

Ambition. Come, take the helm, my Chandos, 

That my full-blown sails overset me not 

In the wild tempest: condemn my Venturous youth, 

That plays with danger, as the innocent child 

Unthinking plays upon the viper's den: 

I am a coward in my reason, Chandos. 

Chandos : You are a man, my Prince, and a brave man, 
If I can judge of actions ; but your heat 
Is the effect of youth, and want of use: 
Use makes the armed field and noisy War 
Pass over as a summer cloud, unregarded, 
Or but expected as a thing of course. 
Age is contemplative ; each rolling year 
Brings forth fruit to the mind's treasure-house: 
While vacant Youth doth crave and seek about 
Within itself, and findeth discontent, 
Then, tired of thought, impatient takes the wing, 
Seizes the fruits of time, attacks experience, 
Roams round vast Nature's forest, where no bounds 
Are set, the swiftest may have room, the strongest 
Find prey; till tired at length, sated and tired 
With the changing sameness, old variety, 
We sit us down, and view our former joys 



POETICAL SKETCHES 

With distaste and dislike. 

Prince: Then, if we must tug for experience, 
Let us not fear to beat round Nature's wilds, 
And rouze the strongest prey: then, if we fall, 
We fall with glory. I know the wolf 
Is dangerous to fight, not good for food, 
Nor is the hide a comely vestment; so 
We have our battle for our pains. I know 
That Youth has need of Age to point fit prey, 
And oft the stander-by shall steal the fruit 
Of th' other's labour. This is philosophy; 
These are the tricks of the world ; but the pure soul 
Shall mount on native wings, disdaining 
Little sport, and cut a path into the heaven of glory, 
Leaving a track of light for men to wonder at. 
I'm glad my father does not hear me talk ; 
You can find friendly excuses for me, Chandos. 
But do you not think, Sir John, that if it please 
Th' Almighty to stretch out my span of life, 
I shall with pleasure view a glorious action 
Which ,my youth master'd ? 

Chandos: Considerate Age, my Lord, views motives, 
And not acts ; when neither warbling voice 
Nor trilling pipe is heard, nor pleasure sits 
With trembling age, the voice of Conscience then, 
Sweeter than music in a summer's eve, 



POETICAL SKETCHES 

Shall warble round the snowy head, and keep 

Sweet symphony to feather'd angels, sitting 

As guardians round your chair ; then shall the pulse 

Beat slow, and taste and touch and sight and sound and smell, 

That sing and dance round Reason's fine- wrought throne, 

Shall flee away, and leave them all forlorn ; 

Yet not forlorn if Conscience is his friend. [Exeun 

SCENE. In Sir Thomas Dagworth's Tent. 
Dagworth, and William his Man. 

Dagworth : Bring hither my armour, William. 
Ambition is the growth of ev'ry clime. 

William : Does it grow in England, Sir ? 

Dagworth : Aye, it grows most in lands most cultivated. 

William : Then it grows most in France; the vines 
here are finer than any we have in England. 

Dagworth: Aye, but the oaks are not. 

William: What is the tree you mentioned? I don't 
think I ever saw it. 

Dagworth: Ambition. 

William: Is it a little creeping root that grows in ditches 

Dagworth: Thou dost not understand me, William. 
It is a root that grows in every breast ; 
Ambition is the desire or passion that one man 
Has to get before another, in any pursuit after glory ; 
But I don't think you have any of it. 
.52 



POETICAL SKETCHES 

William : Yes, I have ; I have a great ambition to 
know everything, Sir. 

Dagworth : But when our first ideas are wrong, what 
follows must all be wrong, of course ; 'tis best to know 
a little, and to know that little aright. 

William : Then, Sir, I should be glad to know if it 
was not ambition that brought over our King to France 
to fight for his right ? 

Dagworth: Tho' the knowledge of that will not profit 
thee much, yet I will tell you that it was ambition. 

William : Then, if ambition is a sin, we are all guilty 
in coming with him, and in fighting for him. 

Dagworth: Now, William, thou dost thrust the ques- 
tion home; but I must tell you that, guilt being an act of 
the mind, none are guilty but those whose minds are 
prompted by that same ambition. 

William: Now, I always thought that a man might 
be guilty of doing wrong without knowing it was wrong. 

Dagworth : Thou art a natural philosopher, and 
knowest truth by instinct, while reason runs aground, 
as we have run our argument. Only remember, William, 
all have it in their power to know the motives of their 
own actions, and 'tis a sin to act without some reason. 

William: And whoever acts without reason may do 
a great deal of harm without knowing it. 

Dagworth : Thou art an endless moralist. 

53 



POETICAL SKETCHES 

William: Now there's a story come into my head, 
that I will tell your honour if you'll give me leave. 

Dagworth: No, William, save it till another time; 
this is no time for story-telling. But here comes one 
who is as entertaining as a good story ! 

Enter Peter Blunt. 

Peter : Vender's a musician going to play before the 
King; it's a new song about the French and English; 
and the Prince has made the minstrel a 'squire, and 
given him I don't know what, and I can't tell whether 
he don't mention us all one by one; and he is to write 
another about all us that are to die, that we may be 
remembered in Old England, for all our blood and 
bones are in France; and a great deal more that we 
shall all hear by and by; and I came to tell your honour, 
because you love to hear war-songs. 

Dagworth : And who is this minstrel, Peter, dost know? 

Peter : O aye, I forgot to tell that ; he has got the same 
name as Sir John Chandos, that the Prince isalwayswith 
the wiseman that knows us alias well as your honour, 
only ain't so good-natured. 

Dagworth: I thank you, Peter, for your information ; 

but not for your compliment, which is not true. There's 

as much difference between him and me as between 

glittering sand and fruitful mould; or shining glass and 

54 



POETICAL SKETCHES 

a wrought diamond, set in rich gold, and fitted to the 
finger of an Emperor; such is that worthy Chandos. 

Peter: I know your honour does not think anything 
of yourself, but everybody else does. 

Dagworth: Go, Peter, get you gone; flattery is de- 
licious, even from the lips of a babbler. [Exit Peter. 

William: I never flatter your honour. 

Dagworth: I don't know that. 

William: Why, you know, Sir, when we were in 
England, at the tournament at Windsor, and the Earl 
of Warwick was tumbled over, you ask'd me if he did 
not look well when he fell ; and I said No, he look'd very 
foolish; and you was very angry with me for not flatter- 
ing you. 

Dagworth: You mean that I was angry with you for 
not flattering the Earl of Warwick. [Exeunt. 

SCENE. Sir Thomas Dagworth's Tent. Sir 
Thomas Dagworth : to him enter Sir Walter Manny. 

Sir Walter: Sir Thomas Dagworth, I have been weeping 
Over the men that are to die to-day. 

Dagworth : Why, brave Sir Walter, you or I may fall. 

Sir Walter: I know this breathing flesh must lie and rot, 
Cover'd with silence and forgetfulness. 
Death wons in cities' smoke, and in still night, 



POETICAL SKETCHES 

When men sleep in their beds, walketh about ! 

How many in walled cities lie and groan, 

Turning themselves upon their beds, 

Talking with Death, answering his hard demands ! 

How many walk in darkness, terrors are round 

The curtains of their beds, destruction is 

Ready at the door ! How many sleep 

In earth, cover'd with stones and deathy dust, 

Resting in quietness, whose spirits walk 

Upon the clouds of heaven, to die no more ! 

Yet death is terrible, tho' borne on angels' wings. 

How terrible then is the field of Death, 

Where he doth rend the vault of Heaven, 

And shake the gates of Hell ! 

O Dagworth, France is sick! the very sky, 

Tho' sunshine light it, seems to me as pale 

As the pale fainting man on his death-bed, 

Whose face is shown by light of sickly taper. 

It makes me sad and sick at very heart, 

Thousands must fall to-day. 

Dagworth : Thousands of souls must leave this prison-house 
To be exalted to those heavenly fields, 
Where songs of triumph, palms of victory, 
Where peace and joy and love and calm content 
Sit singing in the azure clouds, and strew 
Flowers of Heaven's growth over the banquet-table. 
56 



POETICAL SKETCHES 

Bind ardent Hope upon your feet like shoes, 

Put on the robe of preparation, 

The table is prepar'd in shining Heaven, 

The flowers of Immortality are blown ; 

Let those that fight fight in good steadfastness, 

And those that fall shall rise in victory. 

Sir Walter: I've often seen the burning field of war, 
And often heard the dismal clang of arms; 
But never, till this fatal day of Cressy, 
Has my soul fainted with these views of death. 
I seem to be in one great charnel-house, 
And seem to scent the rotten carcases; 
I seem to hear the dismal yells of Death, 
While the black gore drops from his horrid jaws; 
Yet I not fear the monster in his pride 
But O ! the souls that are to die to-day ! 

Dagworth : Stop, brave Sir Walter; let me drop a tear, 
Then let the clarion of war begin; 
I'll fight and weep, 'tis in my Country's cause; 
I'll weep and shout for glorious Liberty. 
Grim War shall laugh and shout, decked in tears, 
And blood shall flow like streams across the meadows, 
That murmur down their pebbly channels, and 
Spend their sweet lives to do their Country service: 
Then shall England's verdure shoot, her fields shall smile, 
Her ships shall sing across the foaming sea, 

57 






POETICAL SKETCHES 

Her mariners shall use the flute and viol, 
And rattling guns, and black and dreary War, 
Shall be no more. 

Sir Walter: Well, let the trumpet sound, and the drum be 
Let war stain the blue heavens with bloody banners; 
I'll draw my sword, nor ever sheathe it up 
Till England blow the trump of victory, 
Or I lay stretch'd upon the field of death. [Exei 

SCENE. In the Camp. Several of the Warriors meet 
at the King's Tent with a Minstrel, who sings the 
following Song: 

O sons of Trojan Brutus, cloth'd in war, 
Whose voices are the thunder of the field, 
Rolling dark clouds o'er France, muffling the sun 
In sickly darkness like a dim eclipse, 
Threatening as the red brow of storms, as fire 
Burning up Nations in your wrath and fury ! 

Your ancestors came from the fires of Troy, 
(Like lions rouz'd by lightning from their dens, 
Whose eyes do glare against the stormy fires), 
Heated with war, fill'd with the blood of Greeks, 
With helmets hewn, and shields covered with gore, 
In navies black, broken with wind and tide: 



POETICAL SKETCHES 

They landed in firm array upon the rocks 

Of Albion ; they kiss'd the rocky shore ; 

'Be thou our mother and our nurse/ they said; 

'Our children's mother, and thou shalt be our grave, 

The sepulchre of ancient Troy, from whence 

Shall rise cities, and thrones, and arms, and awful pow'rs.' 

Our fathers swarm from the ships. Giant voices 
Are heard from the hills, the enormous Sons 
Of Ocean run from rocks and caves, wild men, 
Naked and roaring like lions, hurling rocks, 
And wielding knotty clubs, like oaks entangled 
Thick as a forest, ready for the axe. 

Our fathers move in firm array to battle ; 
The savage monsters rush like roaring fire, 
Like as a forest roars with crackling flames, 
When the red lightning, borne by furious storms, 
iLights on some woody shore; the parched heavens 
Rain fire into the molten raging sea. 

The smoking trees are strewn upon the shore, 
Spoil'd of their verdure. O how oft have they 
Defy'd the storm that howled o'er their heads! 
Our fathers, sweating, lean on their spears, and view 
The mighty dead : giant bodies streaming blood, 
iDread visages frowning in silent death. 

.59 



POETICAL SKETCHES 

Then Brutus spoke, inspir'd ; our fathers sit 

Attentive on the melancholy shore: 

Hear ye the voice of Brutus : * The flowing waves 

Of time come rolling o'er my breast/ he said; 

'And my heart labours with futurity: 

Our sons shall rule the Empire of the Sea. 

'Their mighty wings shall stretch from East to West. 

Their nest is in the sea, but they shall roam 

Like eagles for the prey; nor shall the young 

Crave or be heard ; for plenty shall bring forth, 

Cities shall sing, and vales in rich array 

Shall laugh, whose fruitful laps bend down with fulness. 

' Our sons shall rise from thrones in joy, 

Each one buckling on his armour; Morning 

Shall be prevented by their swords gleaming, 

And Evening hear their song of victory: 

Their towers shall be built upon the rocks, 

Their daughters shall sing, surrounded with shining spe 

'Liberty shall stand upon the cliffs of Albion, 
Casting her blue eyes over the green ocean; 
Or, tow'ring, stand upon the roaring waves, 
Stretching her mighty spear o'er distant lands; 
While, with her eagle wings, she covereth 
Fair Albion's shore, and all her families.' 
60 



POETICAL SKETCHES 



D ROLOGUE, INTENDED FOR A DRAMATIC 
PIECE OF KING EDWARD THE FOURTH 

DFOR a voice like thunder, and a tongue 
To drown the throat of war! When the senses 
\re shaken, and the soul is driven to madness, 
/Vho can stand ? When the souls of the oppressed 
"ight in the troubled air that rages, who can stand ? 
Vhen the whirlwind of fury comes from the 
Throne of God, when the frowns of his countenance 
)rive the nations together, who can stand ? 
When Sin claps his broad wings over the battle, 
*\nd sails rejoicing in the flood of Death; 
vVhen souls are torn to everlasting fire, 
-\nd fiends of Hell rejoice upon the slain, 
3 who can stand? O who hath caused this? 
'D who can answer at the throne of God? 
The Kings and Nobles of the Land have done it ! 
Hear it not, Heaven, thy Ministers have done it! 



61 



POETICAL SKETCHES 



A WAR SONG TO ENGLISHMEN 

PREPARE, prepare the iron helm of War, 
Bring forth the lots, cast in the spacious orb; 
Th' Angel of Fate turns them with mighty hands, 
And casts them out upon the darken'd earth ! 

Prepare, prepare ! 

Prepare your hearts for Death's cold hand ! prepare 
Your souls for flight, your bodies for the earth; 
Prepare your arms for glorious victory; 
Prepare your eyes to meet a holy God ! 

Prepare, prepare ! 

Whose fatal scroll is that? Methinks 'tis mine! 
Why sinks my heart, why faltereth my tongue ? 
Had I three lives, I'd die in such a cause, 
And rise, with ghosts, over the well-fought field. 

Prepare, prepare ! 

The arrows of Almighty God are drawn ! 
Angels of Death stand in the low'ring heavens ! 
Thousands of souls must seek the realms of light, 
And walk together on the clouds of heaven ! 

Prepare, prepare ! 
62 



POETICAL SKETCHES 

Soldiers, prepare! Our cause is Heaven's cause; 
Soldiers, prepare ! Be worthy of our cause : 
Prepare to meet our fathers in the sky: 
Prepare, O troops, that are to fall to-day ! 

Prepare, prepare! 

Alfred shall smile, and make his harp rejoice; 
The Norman William, and the learned Clerk, 
And Lion Heart, and black-brow'd Edward, with 
His loyal Queen, shall rise, and welcome us I 

Prepare, prepare ! 



63 



POETICAL SKETCHES 



[SONG BY A SHEPHERD 

WELCOME, stranger, to this place, 
Where Joy doth sit on every bough, 
Paleness flies from every face; 
We reap not what we do not sow. 

Innocence doth like a rose 
Bloom on every maiden's cheek; 
Honour twines around her brows, 
The jewel Health adorns her neck.] 



64 



POETICAL SKETCHES 



[SONG BY AN OLD SHEPHERD 

WHEN silver snow decks Sylvio's clothes, 
And jewel hangs at shepherd's nose, 
We can abide Life's pelting storm, 
That makes our limbs quake, if our hearts be warm. 

Whilst Virtue is our walking-staff, 

And Truth a lantern to our path, 

We can abide Life's pelting storm, 

That makes our limbs quake, if our hearts be warm. 

Blow, boisterous Wind, stern Winter frown, 

Innocence is a Winter's gown. 

So clad, we'll abide Life's pelting storm, 

That makes our limbs quake, if our hearts be warm.] 



SONGS FROM 

AN ISLAND IN THE MOON ' 



67 



SONGS FROM AN ISLAND IN THE MOON ' 



THE SONG OF PHEBE AND JELLICOE 

PHEBE drest like beauty's Queen, 
Jellicoe in faint pea-green, 
Sitting all beneath a grot, 
Where the little lambkins trot. 

Maidens dancing, loves a-sporting, 
All the country folks a-courting, 
Susan, Johnny, Bob, and Joe, 
Lightly tripping on a row. 

Happy people, who can be 
In happiness compared with ye? 
The Pilgrim with his crook and hat 
Sees your happiness compleat. 



69 



SONGS FROM 



THIS city and this country has brought forth many mayors 
To sit in state, and give forth laws out of their old oak chair 
With face as brown as any nut with drinking of strong ale 
Good English hospitality, O then it did not fail ! 

With scarlet gowns and broad gold lace, would make ayeoman sw< 
With stockings roll'd above their knees and shoes as black as jet 
With eating beef and drinking beer, O they were stout and hah 
Good English hospitality, O then it did not fail ! 

Thus sitting at the table wide the Mayor and Aldermen 
Were fit to give law to the city; each ate as much as ten: 
The hungry poor enter'd the hall to eat good beef and ale 
Good English hospitality, O then it did not fail! 



AN ISLAND IN THE MOON ' 



EYVE, O leave [me] to my sorrows 
Here I'll sit and fade away, 
Till I'm nothing but a spirit, 
And I lose this form of clay. 

Then if chance along this forest 
Any walk in pathless ways, 
Thro' the gloom he'll see my shadow 
Hear my voice upon the breeze. 



SONGS OF INNOCENCE 
AND OF EXPERIENCE 
Shewing the Two Contrary 
States of the Human Soul 



73 



SONGS OF INNOCENCE 

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 ! ' 
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 sang 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. 

75 



SONGS OF INNOCENCE 



THE SHEPHERD 

HOW sweet is the Shepherd's 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 lamb's innocent call, 
And he hears the ewe's tender reply; 
He is watchful while they are in peace, 
For they know when their Shepherd is nigh. 



SONGS OF INNOCENCE 



THE ECCHOING GREEN 



Sun does arise, 
And make happy the skies; 
The merry bells ring 
To welcome the Spring; 
The skylark and thrush, 
The birds of the bush, 
Sing louder around 
To the bells' chearful sound, 
While our sports shall be seen 
On the Ecchoing Green. 

Old John, with white hair, 
Does laugh away care, 
Sitting under the oak, 
Among the old folk. 
They laugh at our play, 
And soon they all say: 
'Such, such were the joys 
When we all, girls and boys, 
In our youth-time were seen 
On the Ecchoing Green/ 

77 



SONGS OF INNOCENCE 

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 
Many sisters and brothers, 
Like birds in their nest, 
Are ready for rest, 
And sport no more seen 
On the darkening Green. 



SONGS OF INNOCENCE 



THE LAMB 

ETLE Lamb, who made thee? 
Dost thou know who made thee? 
Gave thee life, and bid thee feed, 
By the stream and o'er the mead ; 
Gave thee clothing of delight, 
Softest clothing, woolly, bright ; 
Gave thee such a tender voice, 
Making all the vales rejoice? 

Little Lamb, who made thee? 

Dost thou know who made thee ? 

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, and He is mild; 
He became a little child. 
I a child, and thou a lamb, 
We are called by His name. 

Little Lamb, God bless thee ! 

Little Lamb, God bless thee ! 



79 



SONGS OF INNOCENCE 



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, 
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 ; 
And flowers and trees and beasts and men receive 
Comfort in morning, joy in the noonday. 

* 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 sunburnt face 
Is but a cloud, and like a shady grove. 

'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 and care, 
And round my golden tent like lambs rejoice." 
80 



SONGS OF INNOCENCE 

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, 

I'll shade him from the heat, till he can bear 
To lean in joy upon our Father's knee ; 
And then I'll stand and stroke his silver hair, 
And be like him, and he will then love me. 



g 81 



SONGS OF INNOCENCE 



THE BLOSSOM 

MERRY, Merry Sparrow ! 
Under leaves so green, 
A happy Blossom 
Sees you, swift as arrow, 
Seek your cradle narrow 
Near my bosom. 

Pretty, Pretty Robin ! 
Under leaves so green, 
A happy Blossom 
Hears you sobbing, sobbing, 
Pretty, Pretty Robin, 
Near my bosom. 



82 



SONGS OF INNOCENCE 



THE CHIMNEY SWEEPER 

WHEN my mother died I was very young, 
And my father sold me while yet my tongue 
Could scarcely cry 'Veep ! 'weep ! 'weep ! 'weep ! ' 
So your chimneys I sweep, and in soot I sleep. 

There's little Tom Dacre, who cried when his head, 
That curl'd like a lamb's 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, and that very night, 
As Tom was a-sleeping, he had such a sight! 
That thousands of sweepers, Dick, Joe, Ned, and 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 and set them all free; 
Then down a green plain leaping, laughing, they run, 
And wash in a river, and shine in the Sun. 

83 



SONGS OF INNOCENCE 

Then naked and 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, and never want joy. 

And so Tom awoke ; and we rose in the dark, 
And got with our bags and our brushes to work. 
Tho' the morning was cold, Tom was happy and warm 
So if all do their duty they need not fear harm. 



84 



SONGS OF INNOCENCE 



THE LITTLE BOY LOST 

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 ; 
The child was wet with dew; 
The mire was deep, and the child did weep, 
And away the vapour flew. 



SONGS OF INNOCENCE 



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, 
Appeared like his father, in white. 

He kissed the child, and by the hand led, 
And to his mother brought, 
Who in sorrow pale, thro* the lonely dale, 
Her little boy weeping sought. 



86 



SONGS OF INNOCENCE 



LAUGHING SONG 

WHEN the green woods laugh with the voice of joy, 
And the dimpling stream runs laughing by ; 
When the air does laugh with our merry wit, 
And the green hill laughs with the noise of it ; 

When the meadows laugh with lively green, 
And the grasshopper laughs in the merry scene, 
When Mary and Susan and Emily 
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, 
Come live, and be merry, and join with me, 
To sing the sweet chorus of * Ha, Ha, He ! ' 



87 



SONGS OF INNOCENCE 

A CRADLE SONG 

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 smiles, 
All the livelong night beguiles. 

Sweet moans, dovelike sighs, 
Chase not slumber from thy eyes. 
Sweet moans, sweeter smiles, 
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. 
88 



SONGS OF INNOCENCE 

Sweet babe, in thy face 
Holy image I can trace. 
Sweet babe, once like thee, 
Thy Maker lay and wept for me, 

Wept for me, for thee, for all, 
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. 
Infant smiles are his own smiles; 
Heaven and earth to peace beguiles. 



SONGS OF INNOCENCE 

THE DIVINE IMAGE 

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. 
90 



SONGS OF INNOCENCE 



HOLY THURSDAY 

'"^WAS on a Holy Thursday, their innocent faces clean, 
. The children walking two and two, in red and blue and green, 
! jy-headed beadles walk'd before, with wands as white as snow, 
' i into the high dome of Paul's they like Thames' waters flow. 

) yhat a multitude they seem'd, these flowers of London town ! 
rted in companies they sit with radiance all their own. 
' e hum of multitudes was there, but multitudes of lambs, 
'ousands of little boys and girls raising their innocent hands. 

[ w like a mighty wind they raise to Heaven the voice of song, 
'like harmonious thunderings the seats of Heaven among, 
leath them sit the aged men, wise guardians of the poor; 
en cherish pity, lest you drive an angel from your door. 



9i 



SONGS OF INNOCENCE 

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, 
In heaven's high bower, 
With silent delight 
Sits and smiles on the night. 

Farewell, green fields and happy groves, 
Where flocks have took delight. 
Where lambs have nibbled, silent moves 
The feet of angels bright; 
Unseen they pour blessing, 
And joy without ceasing, 
On each bud and blossom, 
And each sleeping bosom. 

They look in every thoughtless nest, 
Where birds are cover'd warm; 
They visit caves of every beast, 
To keep them all from harm. 
If they see any weeping 
That should have been-sleeping, 
They pour sleep on their head, 
And sit down by their bed. 
92 



SONGS OF INNOCENCE 

When wolves and tygers howl for prey, 
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, 
Receive each mild spirit, 
New worlds to inherit. 

And there the lion's ruddy eyes 
Shall flow with tears of gold, 
And pitying the tender cries, 
And walking round the fold, 
Saying 'Wrath, by his meekness, 
And, by his health, sickness 
Is driven away 
From our immortal day. 

* 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. 

For, wash'd in life's river, 

My bright mane for ever 

Shall shine like the gold 

As I guard o'er the fold/ 



93 



SONGS OF INNOCENCE 



SPRING 

SOUND the Flute! 
Now it's mute. 
Birds delight 
Day and Night; 
Nightingale 
In the dale, 
Lark in sky, 
Merrily, 
Merrily, Merrily, to welcome in the Year. 

Little Boy, 

Full of joy; 

Little Girl, 

Sweet and small ; 

Cock does crow, 

So do you; 

Merry voice, 

Infant noise, 

Merrily, Merrily, to welcome in the Year. 
94 



SONGS OF INNOCENCE 

Little Lamb, 
Here I am; 
Come and lick 
My white neck; 
Let me pull 
Your soft wool ; 
Let me kiss 
Your soft face : 
Merrily, Merrily, we welcome in the Year. 



SONGS OF INNOCENCE 



NURSE'S SONG 

WHEN the voices of children are heard on the greei 
And laughing is heard on the hill, 
My heart is at rest within my breast, 
And everything else is still. 

* Then come home, my children, the sun is gone down, 

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; 
Besides, in the sky the little birds fly, 
And the hills are all cover'd with sheep/ 

'Well, well, go and play till the light fades away, 
And then go home to bed/ 
The little ones leaped and shouted and laugh'd 
And all the hills ecchoed. 



SONGS OF INNOCENCE 



INFANT JOY 

'T HAVE no name: 
JL I am but two days old/ 
What shall I call thee? 
' I happy am, 
Joy is my name.' 
Sweet joy befall thee ! 

Pretty Joy ! 

Sweet Joy, but two days old. 

Sweet Joy I call thee: 

Thou dost smile, 

I sing the while, 

Sweet joy befall thee ! 



97 



SONGS OF INNOCENCE 



A DREAM 

ONCE a dream did weave a shade 
O'er my Angel-guarded bed, 
That an Emmet lost its way 
Where on grass methought I lay. 

Troubled, 'wilder'd, and forlorn, 
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 ? 
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 
Calls the watchman of the night ? 

'I am set to light the ground, 
While the beetle goes his round : 
Follow now the beetle's hum; 
Little wanderer, hie thee home.' 



SONGS OF INNOCENCE 



ON ANOTHER'S SORROW 

CAN I see another's woe, 
And not be in sorrow too? 
Can I see another's grief, 
And not seek for kind relief? 

Can I see a falling tear, 
And not feel my sorrow's 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 ? 
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 bird's grief and care, 
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 infant's tear ; 

99 



SONGS OF INNOCENCE 

And not sit both night and day, 
Wiping all our tears away? 
O, no ! never can it be ! 
Never, never can it be ! 

He doth give his joy to all ; 
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 ; 
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; 
Till our grief is fled and gone 
He doth sit by us and moan. 



100 



SONGS OF EXPERIENCE 

INTRODUCTION 

HEAR the voice of the Bard ! 
Who Present, Past, and Future, sees; 
Whose ears have heard 
The Holy Word 
That walk'd among the ancient trees, 

Calling the lapsed Soul, 

And weeping in the evening dew; 

That might controll 

The starry pole, 

And fallen, fallen light renew ! 

'O Earth, O Earth, return! 

Arise from out the dewy grass; 

Night is worn, 

And the morn 

Rises from the slumberous mass. 

'Turn away no more; 

Why wilt thou turn away ? 

The starry floor, 

The wat'ry shore, 

Is giv'n thee till the break of day/ 

101 



SONGS OF EXPERIENCE 



EARTH'S ANSWER 

EARTH rais'd up her head 
From the darkness dread and drear. 
Her light fled, 
Stony dread ! 
And her locks cover'd with grey despair. 

' Prison'd on wat'ry shore, 

Starry Jealousy does keep my den: 

Cold and hoar, 

Weeping o'er, 

I hear the Father of the Ancient Men. 

'Selfish Father of Men! 

Cruel, jealous, selfish Fear ! 

Can Delight, 

Chain'd in night, 

The virgins of youth and morning bear? 

' Does spring hide its joy 
When buds and blossoms grow ? 
Does the sower 
Sow by night, 

Or the plowman in darkness plow ? 
102 



SONGS OF EXPERIENCE 

' Break this heavy chain 

That does freeze my bones around. 

Selfish ! vain ! 

Eternal bane ! 

That free Love with bondage bound/ 



103 



SONGS OF EXPERIENCE 



THE CLOD AND THE PEBBLE 

'TOVE seeketh not Itself to please, 

I J Nor for itself hath any care, 
But for another gives its ease, 
And builds a Heaven in Hell's despair/ 

So sung a little Clod of Clay, 
Trodden with the cattle's feet, 
But a Pebble of the brook 
Warbled out these metres meet: 

'Love seeketh only Self to please, 

To bind another to Its delight, 

Joys in another's loss of ease, 

And builds a Hell in Heaven's despite.' 



104 



SONGS OF EXPERIENCE 



[A DIVINE IMAGE 

/CRUELTY has a human heart, 
V^> And Jealousy a human face; 
Terror the human form divine, 
And Secrecy the human dress. 

The human dress is forged iron, 
The human form a fiery forge, 
The human face a furnace seal'd, 
The human heart its hungry gorge.] 



10.5 



SONGS OF EXPERIENCE 



HOLY THURSDAY 

IS this a holy thing to see 
In a rich and fruitful land, 
Babes reduc'd 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 sun does never shine, 
And their fields are bleak and bare, 
And their ways are fill'd with thorns: 
It is eternal winter there. 

For where'er the sun does shine, 
And where'er the rain does fall, 
Babe can never hunger there, 
Nor poverty the mind appall. 



106 



SONGS OF EXPERIENCE 



THE LITTLE GIRL LOST 

IN futurity 
I prophetic see 
That the earth from sleep 
(Grave the sentence deep) 

Shall arise and seek 
For her Maker meek ; 
And the desart wild 
Become a garden mild. 

In the southern clime, 
Where the summer's prime 
Never fades away, 
Lovely Lyca lay. 

Seven summers old 
Lovely Lyca told ; 
She had wander'd long 
Hearing wild birds' song. 

' Sweet sleep, come to me 
Underneath this tree. 
Do father, mother, weep ? 
Where can Lyca sleep? 

107 



SONGS OF EXPERIENCE 

'Lost in desart wild 
Is your little child. 
How can Lyca sleep 
If her mother weep ? 



'If her heart does ake 
Then let Lyca wake; 
If my mother sleep, 
Lyca shall not weep. 

'Frowning, frowning night, 
O'er this desart bright, 
Let thy moon arise 
While I close my eyes/ 

Sleeping Lyca lay 
While the beasts of prey, 
Come from caverns deep, 
View'd the maid asleep. 

The kingly lion stood, 
And the virgin view'd ; 
Then he gambol'd round 
O'er the hallow'd ground. 
108 



SONGS OF EXPERIENCE 

Leopards, tygers, play 
Round her as she lay, 
While the lion old 
Bow'd his mane of gold, 

And her bosom lick, 
And upon her neck 
From his eyes of flame 
Ruby tears there came ; 

While the lioness 
Loos'd her slender dress, 
And naked they convey'd 
To caves the sleeping maid, 



109 



SONGS OF EXPERIENCE 



THE LITTLE GIRL FOUND 



A.L the night in woe 
Lyca's parents go 
Over valleys deep, 
While the desarts weep. 

Tired and woe-begone, 
Hoarse with making moan, 
Arm in arm seven days 
They trac'd the desart ways. 

Seven nights they sleep 
Among shadows deep, 
And dream they see their child 
Starv'd in desart wild. 

Pale, thro* pathless ways 
The fancied image strays 
Famish'd, weeping, weak, 
With hollow piteous shriek, 
no 



SONGS OF EXPERIENCE 

Rising from unrest, 
The trembling woman prest 
With feet of weary woe : 
She could no further go. 

In his arms he bore 

Her, arm'd with sorrow sore; 

Till before their way 

A couching lion lay. 

Turning back was vain: 
Soon his heavy mane 
Bore them to the ground. 
Then he stalk'd around, 



Smelling to his prey; 
But their fears allay 
When he licks their hands, 
And silent by them stands. 

They look upon his eyes 
Fill'd with deep surprise ; 
And wondering behold 
A spirit arm'd in gold. 

in 



SONGS OF EXPERIENCE 

On his head a crown; 
On his shoulders down 
Flow'd his golden hair. 
Gone was all their care. 

' Follow me/ he said ; 
'Weep not for the maid; 
In my palace deep 
Lyca lies asleep/ 

Then they followed 
Where the vision led, 
And saw their sleeping child 
Among tygers wild. 

To this day they dwell 
In a lonely dell; 
Nor fear the wolfish howl 
Nor the lions' growl. 



112 



SONGS OF EXPERIENCE 



THE CHIMNEY SWEEPER 

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.' 



113 



SONGS OF EXPERIENCE 



NURSE'S SONG 

WHEN the voices of children are heard on the green 
And whisp'rings 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 in disguise. 



114 



SONGS OF EXPERIENCE 



THE SICK ROSE 

O ROSE, thou art sick ! 
The invisible worm, 
That flies in the night, 
In the howling storm, 

Has found out thy bed 
Of crimson joy; 
And his dark secret love 
Does thy life destroy. 



SONGS OF EXPERIENCE 

THE FLY 

E~^TLE Fly, 
Thy summer's play 
My thoughtless hand 
Has brush'd away. 

Am not I 
A fly like thee ? 
Or art not thou 
A man like me ? 

For I dance, 
And drink, and sing, 
Till some blind hand 
Shall brush my wing. 

If thought is life 

And strength and breath, 

And the want 

Of thought is death ; 

Then am I 
A happy fly, 
If I live 
Or if I die. 
116 



SONGS OF EXPERIENCE 



THE ANGEL 

T DREAMT a Dream! what can it mean? 
JL 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, 
And he wip'd 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 blush'd rosy red ; 
I dried my tears, and arm'd 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, 
And grey hairs were on my head. 



117 



SONGS OF EXPERIENCE 



THE TYGER 

TYGER! Tyger! burning bright 
In the forests of the night, 
What immortal hand or eye 
Could frame thy fearful symmetry? 

In what distant deeps or skies 
Burnt the fire of thine eyes? 
On what wings dare he aspire ? 
What the hand dare seize the fire ? 

And what shoulder, and what art, 
Could twist the sinews of thy heart? 
And when thy heart began to beat, 
What dread hand ? and what dread feet ? 

What the hammer? what the chain? 
In what furnace was thy brain ? 
What the anvil ? what dread grasp 
Dare its deadly terrors clasp ? 
118 



SONGS OF EXPERIENCE 

When the stars threw down their spears, 
And water'd heaven with their tears, 
Did he smile his work to see? 
Did He who made the Lamb make thee ? 

Tyger ! Tyger ! burning bright 
In the forests of the night, 
What immortal hand or eye, 
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry? 



SONGS OF EXPERIENCE 



MY PRETTY ROSE TREE 

A FLOWER was offer'd to me, 
Such a flower as May never bore ; 
But I said Tve 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 turn'd away with jealousy, 
And her thorns were my only delight. 



120 






SONGS OF EXPERIENCE 



AH! SUNFLOWER 

Ai, Sunflower ! weary of time, 
Who countest the steps of the Sun; 
Seeking after that sweet golden clime, 
Where 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 aspire 
Where my Sunflower wishes to go. 



121 



SONGS OF EXPERIENCE 



THE LILLY 

modest Rose puts forth a thorn, 
The humble Sheep a threat'ning horn; 
While the Lilly white shall in Love delight, 
Nor a thorn, nor a threat, stain her beauty bright, 



122 



SONGS OF EXPERIENCE 



THE GARDEN OF LOVE 

T WENT to the Garden of Love, 
1 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 and desires. 



123 



SONGS OF EXPERIENCE 



THE LITTLE VAGABOND 

DEAR Mother, dear Mother, the Church is cold, 
But the Ale-house is healthy and pleasant and warm; 
Besides I can tell where I am used well, 
Such usage in Heaven will never do well. 

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 all the livelong day, 
Nor ever once wish from the Church to stray. 

Then the Parson might preach, and drink, and sing, 
And we'd be as happy as birds in the spring; 
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 

His children as pleasant and happy as He, 

Would have no more quarrel with the Devil or the Barrel, 

But kiss him, and give him both drink and apparel. 



124 



SONGS OF EXPERIENCE 



LONDON 

I WANDER thro* each charter'd street, 
Near where the charter'd Thames does flow, 
And 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-forg'd manacles I hear. 

How the Chimney-sweeper's cry 
Every black'ning Church appalls ; 
And the hapless Soldier's sigh 
Runs in blood down Palace walls. 

But most thro* midnight streets I hear 

How the youthful Harlot's curse 

Blasts the new-born Infant's tear, 

And blights with plagues the Marriage hearse. 



125 



SONGS OF EXPERIENCE 



THE HUMAN ABSTRACT 

PITY would be no more 
If we did not make somebody Poor; 
And Mercy no more could be 
If all were as happy as we. 

And mutual Fear brings peace, 
Till the selfish loves increase: 
Then Cruelty knits a snare, 
And spreads his baits with care. 

He sits down with holy fears, 
And waters the ground with tears ; 
Then Humility takes its root 
Underneath his foot. 

Soon spreads the dismal shade 
Of Mystery over his head ; 
And the Catterpiller and fly 
Feed on the Mystery. 
126 



SONGS OF EXPERIENCE 

And it bears the fruit of Deceit, 
Ruddy and sweet to eat ; 
And the Raven his nest has made 
In its thickest shade. 



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, 



127 



SONGS OF EXPERIENCE 



INFANT SORROW 

MY mother groan'd, 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 swadling-bands, 
Bound and weary, I thought best 
To sulk upon my mother's breast. 



128 



SONGS OF EXPERIENCE 



A POISON TREE 

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 water'd it in fears, 
Night and 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 ; 
And my foe beheld it shine, 
And he knew that it was mine, 

And into my garden stole 

When the night had veil'd the pole: 

In the morning glad I see 

My foe outstretched beneath the tree. 



129 



SONGS OF EXPERIENCE 



A LITTLE BOY LOST 

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 

Or any of my brothers more? 

I love you like the little bird 

That picks up crumbs around the door/ 

The Priest sat by and heard the child, 
In trembling zeal he seiz'd his hair: 
He led him by his little coat, 
And all admir'd the priestly care. 

And standing on the altar high, 
' Lo! what a fiend is here, 'said he, 
' One who sets reason up for judge 
Of our most holy Mystery/ 
130 



SONGS OF EXPERIENCE 

The weeping child could not be heard, 
The weeping parents wept in vain; 
They strip'd him to his little shirt, 
And bound him in an iron chain ; 



And burn'd him in a holy place, 
Where many had been burn'd before : 
The weeping parents wept in vain. 
Are such things done on Albion's shore ? 



131 



SONGS OF EXPERIENCE 



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, 
Free from winter's cold, 
Youth and maiden bright 
To the holy light, 
Naked in the sunny beams delight. 

Once a youthful pair, 

Fiird with softest care, 

Met in garden bright 

Where the holy light 

Had just remov'd the curtains of the night. 

There, in rising day, 

On the grass they play ; 

Parents were afar, 

Strangers came not near, 

And the maiden soon forgot her fear. 

132 



SONGS OF EXPERIENCE 

Tired with kisses sweet, 

They agree to meet 

When the silent sleep 

Waves o'er heaven's deep, 

And the weary tired wanderers weep. 

To her father white 

Came the maiden bright ; 

But his loving look, 

Like the holy book, 

All her tender limbs with terror shook. 

' Ona ! pale and weak ! 

To thy father speak: 

O ! the trembling fear, 

O ! the dismal care, 

That shakes the blossoms of my hoary hair ! 



133 



SONGS OF EXPERIENCE 



TO TIRZAH 

WH ATE'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 and Pride, 
Blow'd in the morn ; in evening died ; 
But Mercy chang'd Death into Sleep ; 
The Sexes rose to work and weep. 

Thou, Mother of my Mortal part, 
With cruelty didst mould my Heart, 
And with false self-deceiving tears 
Didst bind my Nostrils, Eyes, and Ears; 

Didst close my Tongue in senseless clay, 
And me to Mortal Life betray. 
The Death of Jesus set me free: 
Then what have I to do with thee ? 



134 



SONGS OF EXPERIENCE 



THE SCHOOLBOY 

I LOVE to rise in a summer morn 
When the birds sing on every tree; 
The distant huntsman winds his horn, 
And the skylark sings with me. 
O ! what sweet company. 

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. 

Ah ! then at times I drooping sit, 
And spend many an anxious hour, 
Nor in my book can I take delight, 
Nor sit in learning's bower, 
Worn thro* with the dreary shower. 

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 ? 

135 



SONGS OF EXPERIENCE 

O ! father and 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 care's dismay, 

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 ? 



136 



SONGS OF EXPERIENCE 



THE VOICE OF THE ANCIENT BARD 

"Y7"OUTH of delight, come hither, 
JL And see the opening morn, 
Image of truth new-born. 
Doubt is fled, and clouds of reason, 
Dark disputes and artful teazing. 
Folly is an endless maze, 
Tangled roots perplex her ways. 
How many have fallen there ! 
They stumble all night over bones of the dead, 
And feel they know not what but care, 
And wish to lead others, when they should be led. 



137 



EARLIER POEMS FROM 
THE ROSSETTI MS. 



1)9 



EARLIER POEMS FROM THE ROSSETTI MS. 



NEVER SEEK TO TELL THY LOVE 

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 doth depart. 

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



141 



EARLIER POEMS FROM 



I LAID ME DOWN UPON A BANK 

I LAID me down upon a bank, 
Where Love lay sleeping; 
I heard among the rushes dank 
Weeping, 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 beguil'd, 
Driven out, and compel'd to be chaste. 



142 



THE ROSSETTI MS. 



I SAW A CHAPEL ALL OF GOLD 

I SAW a Chapel all of gold 
That none did dare to enter in, 
And many weeping stood without, 
Weeping, mourning, worshipping. 

I saw a Serpent rise between 
The white pillars of the door, 
And he forc'd and forc'd and forc'd ; 
Down the golden hinges tore, 

And along the pavement sweet, 
Set with pearls and rubies bright, 
All his shining length he drew, 
Till upon the altar white 

Vomiting his poison out 

On the Bread and on the Wine. 

So I turn'd into a sty, 

And laid me down among the swine. 



143 



EARLIER POEMS FROM 



144 



A THIEF 



I ASKED a thief to steal me a peach: 
He turned up his eyes. 
I ask'd a lithe lady to lie her down : 
Holy and meek, she cries. 

As soon as I went 
An Angel came : 
He wink'd at the thief, 
And smil'd at the dame ; 

And without one word said 
Had a peach from the tree, 
And still as a maid 
Enjoy'd the lady. 



THE ROSSETTI MS. 

I HEARD AN ANGEL SINGING 

I HEARD an Angel singing 
When the day was springing : 
' Mercy, Pity, Peace 
Is the world's release/ 

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

I heard a Devil curse 
Over the heath and the furze: 
' Mercy could be no more 
If there was nobody poor, 

' And Pity no more could be, 
If all were as happy as we/ 
At his curse the sun went down, 
And the heavens gave a frown. 

[Down pour'd the heavy rain 
Over the new reap'd grain; 
And Misery's increase 
Is Mercy, Pity, Peace.] 



145 



EARLIER POEMS FROM 

A CRADLE SONG 

SLEEP! Sleep! beauty bright, 
Dreaming o'er the joys of night; 
Sleep ! Sleep ! in thy sleep 
Little sorrows sit and weep. 

Sweet Babe, in thy face 
Soft desires I can trace, 
Secret joys and secret smiles, 
Little pretty infant wiles. 

As thy softest limbs I feel, 
Smiles as of the morning steal 
O'er thy cheek, and o'er thy breast 
Where thy little heart does rest. 

O ! the cunning wiles that creep 
In thy little heart asleep. 
When thy little heart does wake 
Then the dreadful lightnings break, 

From thy cheek and from thy eye, 
O'er the youthful harvests nigh. 
Infant wiles and infant smiles 
Heaven and Earth of peace beguiles. 



146 



THE ROSSETTI MS. 



SILENT, SILENT NIGHT 

SILENT, silent Night, 
Quench the holy light 
Of thy torches bright; 

For possess'd of Day, 
Thousand spirits stray 
That sweet joys betray. 

Why should joys be sweet 

Used with deceit, 

Nor with sorrows meet? 

But an honest joy 
Does itself destroy 
For a harlot coy. 



147 



EARLIER POEMS FROM 



I FEAR'D THE FURY OF MY WIND 

IFEAR'D the fury of my wind 
Would blight all blossoms fair and true 
And my sun it shin'd and shin'd, 
And my wind it never blew. 

But a blossom fair or true 
Was not found on any tree ; 
For all blossoms grew and grew 
Fruitless, false, tho' fair to see. 



148 



THE ROSSETTI MS. 



INFANT SORROW 

MY mother groan'd, 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 swadling-bands, 
Bound and weary, I thought best 
To sulk upon my mother's breast. 

When I saw that rage was vain, 
And to sulk would nothing gain, 
Turning many a trick and wile 
I began to soothe and smile. 

And I sooth'd day after day, 
Till upon the ground I stray ; 
And I smil'd night after night, 
Seeking only for delight. 

149 



EARLIER POEMS FROM 

And I saw before me shine 
Clusters of the wand'ring vine ; 
And, beyond, a Myrtle-tree 
Stretch'd its blossoms out to me. 

But a Priest with holy look, 
In his hands a holy book, 
Pronounced curses on his head 
Who the fruits or blossoms shed. 

I beheld the Priest by night ; 
He embraced my Myrtle bright : 
I beheld the Priest by day, 
Where beneath my vines he lay. 

Like a serpent in the day 
Underneath my vines he lay: 
Like a serpent in the night 
He embraced my Myrtle bright. 

So I smote him, and his gore 
Stain'd the roots my Myrtle bore ; 
But the time of youth is fled, 
And grey hairs are on my head. 



THE ROSSETTI MS. 



WHY SHOULD I CARE FOR THE MEN 
OF THAMES 

WHY should I care for the men of Thames, 
Or the cheating waves of chartered streams; 
Or shrink at the little blasts of fear 
That the hireling blows into my ear ? 

Tho' born on the cheating banks of Thames, 
Tho' his waters bathed my infant limbs, 
The Ohio shall wash his stains from me : 
I was born a slave, but I go to be free ! 



EARLIER POEMS FROM 



THOU HAST A LAP FULL OF SEED 

THOU hast a lap full of seed, 
And this is a fine country. 
Why dost thou not cast thy seed, 
And live in it merrily? 

Shall I cast it on the sand 
And turn it into fruitful land ? 
For on no other ground 
Can I sow my seed, 
Without tearing up 
Some stinking weed. 



152 



THE ROSSETTI MS. 



TO MY MYRTLE 

TO a lovely Myrtle bound, 
Blossoms show'ring all around, 
O how sick and weary I 
Underneath my Myrtle lie ! 

Why should I be bound to thee 
O my lovely Myrtle-tree ? 
[Love, free love, cannot be bound 
To any tree that grows on ground.] 



EARLIER POEMS FROM 



TO NOBODADDY 

WHY art thou silent and invisible, 
Father of Jealousy? 
Why dost thou hide thyself in clouds 
From every searching eye ? 

Why darkness and obscurity 

In all thy words and laws, 

That none dare eat the fruit but from 

The wily Serpent's jaws? 

Or is it because Secresy gains females' loud applause? 



THE ROSSETTI MS. 



ARE NOT THE JOYS OF MORNING SWEETER 

RE not the joys of morning sweeter 

han the joys of night? 
And are the vigorous joys of youth 
Ashamed of the light? 

Let age and sickness silent rob 

The vineyards in the night ; 

But those who burn with vigorous youth 

Pluck fruits before the light. 



EARLIER POEMS FROM 




THE WILD FLOWER'S SONG 

S I wander'd the forest, 

The green leaves among, 
I heard a Wild Flower 
Singing a song. 

I slept in the Earth 
In the silent night, 
I murmur 'd my fears 
And I felt delight. 

' In the morning I went, 
As rosy as morn, 
To seek for new Joy; 
But I met with scorn/ 



THE ROSSETTI MS. 



DAY 

THE sun arises in the East, 
Cloth'd in robes of blood and gold ; 
Swords and spears and wrath increast 
All around his bosom roll'd, 
Crown'd with warlike fires and raging desires. 



EARLIER POEMS FROM 



THE FAIRY 

COME hither, my Sparrows, 
My little arrows. 
If a tear or a smile 
Will a man beguile, 
If an amorous delay 
Clouds a sunshiny day, 
If the step of a foot 
Smites the heart to its root, 
'Tis the marriage-ring 
Makes each fairy a king/ 

So a Fairy sung. 

From the leaves I sprung; 

He leap'd from the spray 

To flee away ; 

But in my hat caught, 

He soon shall be taught. 

Let him laugh, let him cry, 

He's my Butterfly; 

For I've pull'd out the sting 

Of the marriage-ring. 



THE ROSSETTI MS. 



MOTTO TO THE SONGS OF INNOCENCE 
AND OF EXPERIENCE 

THE Good are attracted by Men's perceptions, 
And think not for themselves ; 
Till Experience teaches them to catch 
And to cage the Fairies and Elves. 

And then the Knave begins to snarl, 

And the Hypocrite to howl; 

And all his good Friends show their private ends, 

And the Eagle is known from the Owl. 



159 



EARLIER POEMS FROM 



[LAFAYETTE] 

' JET the Brothels of Paris be opened 
-L- /With many an alluring dance, 
To awake the physicians thro* the city ! ' 
Said the beautiful Queen of France. 

The King awoke on his couch of gold, 

As soon as he heard these tidings told : 

' Arise and come, both fife and drum, 

And the Famine shall eat both crust and crumb/ 

The Queen of France just touch'd this globe, 
And the Pestilence darted from her robe ; 
But our good Queen quite grows to the ground, 
And a great many suckers grow all around. 

Fayette beside King Lewis stood; 
He saw him sign his hand; 
And soon he saw the Famine rage 
About the fruitful land. 

Fayette beheld the Queen to smile 
And wink her lovely eye ; 
And soon he saw the Pestilence 
From street to street to fly. 
160 



THE ROSSETTI MS. 

Fayette beheld the King and Queen 
In curses and iron bound ; 
But mute Fayette wept tear for tear, 
And guarded them around. 

Fayette, Fayette, thou'rt bought and sold 
And sold is thy happy morrow ; 
Thou gavest the tears of Pity away 
In exchange for the tears of Sorrow. 

Who will exchange his own fireside 
For the stone of another's door ? 
Who will exchange his wheaten loaf 
For the links of a dungeon-floor ? 

O who would smile on the wintry seas 
And pity the stormy roar ? 
Or who will exchange his new-born child 
For the dog at the wintry door ? 



161 



EARLIER POEMS FROM THE ROSSETTI MS. 



A FAIRY leapt upon my knee 
Singing and dancing merrily ; 
I said, 'Thou thing of patches, rings, 
Pins, necklaces, and such-like things, 
Disgracer of the female form, 
Thou paltry, gilded, poisonous worm ! ' 
Weeping, he fell upon my thigh, 
And thus in tears did soft reply : 
' Knowest thou not, O Fairies' lord ! 
How much by us contemn'd, abhorr'd, 
Whatever hides the female form 
That cannot bear the mortal storm ? 
Therefore in pity still we give 
Our lives to make the female live ; 
And what would turn into disease 
We turn to what will joy and please/ 



162 



GNOMIC VERSES 



163 



GNOMIC VERSES 



I 

r TPHEY said this mystery never shall cease: 
A The priest promotes war, and the soldier peace. 



II 

\n Answer to the Parson 

WHY of the sheep do you not learn peace ? 
Because I don't want you to shear my fleece. 



GNOMIC VERSES 



III 

Lacedaemonian Instruction 



COME hither, my boy, tell me what thou seest there, 
A fool tangled in a religious snare. 

IV 

LOVE to faults is always blind; 
Always is to joy inclined, 
Lawless, wing'd and unconfin'd, 
And breaks all chains from every mind. 

Deceit to secresy confin'd, 
Lawful, cautious and refin'd; 
To anything but interest blind, 
And forges fetters for the mind. 



THERE souls of men are bought and sold, 
And milk-fed Infancy for gold ; 
And Youth to slaughter-houses led, 
And Beauty, for a bit of bread. 

166 



GNOMIC VERSES 



VI 

Soft Snow 

I WALKED abroad on a snowy day: 
I ask'd the soft Snow with me to play: 
She play'd and she melted in all her prime; 
And the Winter call'd it a dreadful crime. 



VII 

ABSTINENCE sows sand all over 
The ruddy limbs and flaming hair, 
But Desire Gratified 
Plants fruits of life and beauty there. 



167 



GNOMIC VERSES 

VIII 
Merlin's Prophecy 

THE harvest shall flourish in wintry weather 
When two Virginities meet together: 
The King and the Priest must be tied in a tether 
Before two Virgins can meet together. 



IX 

IF you trap the moment before it's ripe, 
The tears of repentance you'll certainly wipe; 
But if once you let the ripe moment go, 
You can never wipe off the tears of woe. 



X 

AN Old Maid early ere I knew 
Aught but the love that on me grew ; 
And now I'm cover'd o'er and o'er, 
And wish that I had been a Whore. 

O ! I cannot, cannot find 
The undaunted courage of a Virgin Mind ; 
For early I in love was crost, 
Before my flower of love was lost. 
168 



GNOMIC VERSES 



XI 

THE sword sung on the barren heath, 
The sickle in the fruitful field : 
The sword he sung a song of death, 
But could not make the sickle yield. 



XII 

O LAPWING ! thou fliest around the heath, 
Nor seest the net that is spread beneath. 
Why dost thou not fly among the corn fields ? 
They cannot spread nets where a harvest yields. 

XIII 

TERROR in the house does roar; 
But Pity stands before the door. 



169 



GNOMIC VERSES 

XIV 
SEVERAL QUESTIONS ANSWERED 

i 
Eternity 

HE who bends to himself a Joy 
Doth the winged life destroy; 
But he who kisses the Joy as it flies 
Lives in Eternity's sunrise. 



THE look of love alarms, 
Because it's fill'd with fire; 
But the look of soft deceit 
Shall win the lover's hire. 



SOFT deceit and idleness, 
These are Beauty's sweetest dress. 
170 



GNOMIC VERSES 



WHAT is it men in women do require? 
The lineaments of Gratified Desire. 
What is it women do in men require ? 
The lineaments of Gratified Desire. 



An ancient Proverb 

REMOVE away that black'ning church, 
Remove away that marriage hearse, 
Remove away that man of blood 
You'll quite remove the ancient curse. 



171 



GNOMIC VERSES 



XV 
Riches 

THE countless gold of a merry heart, 
The rubies and pearls of a loving eye, 
The Indolent never can bring to the mart, 
Nor the Secret hoard up in his treasury. 

XVI 

SINCE all the Riches of this world 
May be gifts from the Devil and earthly kings, 
I should suspect that I worship'd the Devil 
If I thank'd my God for worldly things. 

XVII 

IF I e'er grow to Man's estate, 
O ! give to me a Woman's fate. 
May I govern all, both great and small, 
Have the last word, and take the wall. 



172 



GNOMIC VERSES 



XVIII 

THE Angel that presided o'er my birth 
Said * Little creature, form'd of Joy and Mirth, 
Go, love without the help of anything on earth.' 



XIX , 

GROWN old in love from seven till seven times seven, 
I oft have wish'd for Hell, for ease from Heaven. 



XX 

DO what you will this life's a fiction, 
And is made up of contradiction. 



XXI 

GREAT things are done when Men and Mountains meet 
This is not done by jostling in the street. 



173 



GNOMIC VERSES 



XXII 
To God 



IF you have form'd a Circle to go into, 

Go into it yourself, and see how you would do, 



XXIII 

NAIL his neck to the Cross: nail it with a nail. 

Nail his neck to the Cross: ye all have power over his tail, 

XXI V' 

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 ? 



174 



GNOMIC VERSES 



XXV 

[Proverbs of Hell] 



PRAYERS plow not: Praises reap not. 
Joys laugh not: Sorrows weep not. 



XXVI 
[From 'The Four Zoas'] 

TILL thoudost conquer the distrest, 

Thou shalt never have peace within thy breast. 



175 



POEMS FROM LETTERS 



n 177 



POEMS FROM LETTERS 

TO MY DEAREST FRIEND, JOHN FLAXMAN, 
THESE LINES: 

1 BLESS thee, O Father of Heaven and Earth ! that 
ever I saw Flaxman's face : 
Angels stand round my spirit in Heaven ; the blessed of 

Heaven are my friends upon Earth. 
When Flaxman was taken to Italy, Fuseli was given to 

me for a season ; 
And now Flaxman hath given me Hayley, his friend, to 

be mine such my lot upon Earth! 
Now my lot in the Heavens is this: Milton lov'd me in 

childhood and show'd me his face ; 
Ezra came with Isaiah the Prophet, but Shakespeare in 

riper years gave me his hand ; 
Paracelsus and Behmen appear 'd to me ; terrors 

appear 'd in the Heavens above; 
The American War began ; all its dark horrors pass'd 

before my face 

Across the Atlantic to France ; then the French Revolu- 
tion commenc'd in thick clouds; 
And my Angels have told me that, seeing such visions, 

I could not subsist on the Earth, 
But by my conjunction with Flaxman, who knows to 

forgive nervous fear. 

179 



POEMS FROM LETTERS 



TO MY DEAR FRIEND, MRS. ANNA FLAXMAN 

THIS song to the flower of Flaxman's joy, 
To the blossom of hope for a sweet decoy; 
Do all that you can, or all that you may, 
To entice him to Felpham and far away. 

Away to sweet Felpham, for Heaven is there; 
The Ladder of Angels descends thro' the air ; 
On the turret its spiral does softly descend, 
Thro* the village then winds, at my cot it does end. 

You stand in the village and look up to Heaven; 
The precious stones glitter on flights seventy-seven ; 
And my brother is there, and my friend and thine 
Descend and ascend with the bread and the wine. 

The bread of sweet thought and the wine of delight 
Feed the village of Felpham by day and by night, 
And at his own door the bless'd Hermit does stand, 
Dispensing unceasing to all the wide land. 



180 



POEMS FROM LETTERS 



[TO THOMAS BUTTS] 

TO my Friend Butts I write 
My first Vision of Light, 
On the yellow sands sitting. 
The Sun was emitting 
His glorious beams 
From Heaven's high streams. 
Over sea, over land, 
My eyes did expand 
Into regions of air, 
Away from all care ; 
Into regions of fire, 
Remote from desire; 
The Light of the Morning 
Heaven's mountains adorning: 
In particles bright, 
The Jewels of Light 
Distinct shone and clear. 
Amaz'd and in fear 
I each particle gazed, 
Astonish'd, amazed ; 

ill 



POEMS FROM LETTERS 

For each was a Man 
Human-form'd. Swift I ran, 
For they beckon'd to me, 
Remote by the sea, 
Saying: ' Each grain of sand, 
Every stone on the land, 
Each rock and each hill, 
Each fountain and rill, 
Each herb and each tree, 
Mountain, hill, earth, and sea, 
Cloud, meteor, and star, 
Are Men seen afar/ 
I stood in the streams 
Of Heaven's bright beams, 
And saw Felpham sweet 
Beneath my bright feet, 
In soft Female charms; 
And in her fair arms 
My Shadow I knew, 
And my wife's Shadow too, 
And my sister, and friend. 
We like Infants descend 
In our Shadows on earth, 
Like a weak mortal birth. 
My eyes, more and more, 
Like a sea without shore, 
182 



POEMS FROM LETTERS 

Continue expanding, 

The Heavens commanding; 

Till the Jewels of Light, 

Heavenly Men beaming bright, 

Appeared as One Man, 

Who complacent began 

My limbs to infold 

In His beams of bright gold ; 

Like dross purg'd away 

All my mire and my clay. 

Soft consumed in delight, 

In His bosom sun-bright 

I remained. Soft He smil'd, 

And I heard His voice mild, 

Saying: 'This is My fold, 

O thou Ram horn'd with gold, 

Who awakest from sleep 

On the sides of the deep. 

On the mountains around 

The roarings resound 

Of the lion and wolf, 

The loud sea, and deep gulph. 

These are guards of My fold, 

thou Ram horn'd with gold ! ' 
And the voice faded mild : 

1 remained as a Child ; 

183 



POEMS FROM LETTERS 

All I ever had known 
Before me bright shone : 
I saw you and your wife 
By the fountains of life. 
Such the Vision to me 
Appear 'd on the sea. 



184 



POEMS FROM LETTERS 



TO MRS. BUTTS 

WIFE of the Friend of those I most revere, 
Receive this tribute from a harp sincere ; 
Go on in virtuous seed-sowing on mould 
Of Human Vegetation, and behold 
Your Harvest springing to Eternal Life, 
Parent of youthful minds, and happy wife! 



POEMS FROM LETTERS 



[TO THOMAS BUTTS] 

WITH Happiness stretch'd across the hills 
In a cloud that dewy sweetness distills ; 
With a blue sky spread over with wings, 
And a mild Sun that mounts and sings ; 
With trees and fields full of Fairy Elves, 
And little devils who fight for themselves 
Rememb'ring the verses that Hayley sung 
When my heart knock'd against the root of my tongue- 
With Angels planted in hawthorn bowers, 
And God Himself in the passing hours; 
With Silver Angels across my way, 
And Golden Demons that none can stay; 
With my Father hovering upon the wind, 
And my Brother Robert just behind, 
And my Brother John, the evil one, 
In a black cloud making his moan ; 
Tho* dead, they appear upon my path, 
Notwithstanding my terrible wrath - 
They beg, they intreat, they drop their tears, 
Fill'd full of hopes, fill'd full of fears 
186 



POEMS FROM LETTERS 

With a thousand Angels upon the wind, 
Pouring disconsolate from behind 
To drive them off, and before my way 
A frowning Thistle implores my stay. 
What to others a trifle appears 
Fills me full of smiles or tears; 
For double the vision my eyes do see, 
And a double vision is always with me. 
With my inward eye, 'tis an Old Man grey, 
With my outward, a Thistle across my way. 
'If thou goest back/ the Thistle said, 
' Thou art to endless woe betray 'd ; 
For here does Theotormon lower, 
And here is Enitharmon's bower; 
And Los the Terrible thus hath sworn, 
Because thou backward dost return, 
Poverty, envy, old age, and fear, 
Shall bring thy Wife upon a bier; 
And Butts shall give what Fuseli gave, 
A dark black rock and a gloomy cave/ 

I struck the Thistle with my foot, 
And broke him up from his delving root. 
'Must the duties of life each other cross? 
Must every joy be dung and dross ? 
Must my dear Butts feel cold neglect 

187 



POEMS FROM LETTERS 

Because I give Hayley his due respect? 
Must Flaxman look upon me as wild, 
And all my friends be with doubts beguil'd ? 
Must my Wife live in my Sister's bane, 
Or my Sister survive on my Love's pain ? 
The curses of Los, the terrible Shade, 
And his dismal terrors make me afraid/ 

So I spoke, and struck in my wrath 

The Old Man weltering upon my path. 

Then Los appeared in all his power : 

In the Sun he appear'd, descending before 

My face in fierce flames; in my double sight 

'Twas outward a Sun, inward Los in his might. 

* My hands are labour'd day and night, 

And ease comes never in my sight. 

My Wife has no indulgence given 

Except what comes to her from Heaven. 

We eat little, we drink less, 

This Earth breeds not our happiness. 

Another Sun feeds our life's streams, 

We are not warmed with thy beams; 

Thou measurest not the Time to me, 

Nor yet the Space that I do see; 

My mind is not with thy light array 'd, 

Thy terrors shall not make me afraid.' 

188 



POEMS FROM LETTERS 

When I had my defiance given, 

The Sun stood trembling in heaven; 

The Moon, that glow'd remote below, 

Became leprous and white as snow; 

And every Soul of men on the earth 

Felt affliction, and sorrow, and sickness, and dearth. 

Los flam'd in my path, and the Sun was hot 

With the Bows of my mind and the Arrows of thought. 

My bowstring fierce with ardour breathes; 

My arrows glow in their golden sheaves; 

My brothers and father march before ; 

The heavens drop with human gore. 

Now I a fourfold vision see, 
And a fourfold vision is given to me ; 
f Tis fourfold in my supreme delight, 
And threefold in soft Beulah's night, 
And twofold always. May God us keep 
From single vision, and Newton's sleep ! 



189 



POEMS FROM LETTERS 



[TO THOMAS BUTTS] 

O! WHY was I born with a different face? 
Why was I not born like the rest of my race? 
When I look, each one starts; when I speak, I offend; 
Then I'm silent and passive, and lose every Friend. 

Then my verse I dishonour, my pictures despise, 
My person degrade, and my temper chastise; 
And the pen is my terror, the pencil my shame ; 
All my Talents I bury, and dead is my Fame. 

I am either too low, or too highly priz'd ; 

When elate I'm envied; when meek I'm despis'd. 



190 



THE PICKERING MS. 



191 



THE PICKERING MS. 



THE SMILE 

THERE is a smile of Love, 
And there is a smile of Deceit, 
And there is a Smile of Smiles 
In which these two smiles meet. 

And there is a frown of Hate, 
And there is a frown of Disdain, 
And there is a Frown of Frowns 
Which you strive to forget in vain, 

For it sticks in the heart's deep core 
And it sticks in the deep backbone ; 
And no smile that ever was smil'd, 
But only one Smile alone, 

That betwixt the Cradle and Grave 
It only once smil'd can be ; 
And, when it once is smil'd, 
There's an end to all Misery. 

193 



THE PICKERING MS. 



THE GOLDEN NET 

THREE Virgins at the break of day: 
* Whither, young man, whither away? 
Alas for woe ! alas for woe ! ' 
They cry, and tears for ever flow. 
The one was cloth'd in Flames of Fire, 
The other cloth'd in Iron Wire, 
The other cloth'd in Tears and Sighs 
Dazzling bright before my eyes. 
They bore a Net of golden twine 
To hang upon the branches fine. 
Pitying I wept to see the woe 
That Love and Beauty undergo, 
To be consumed in burning fires 
And in ungratified desires, 
And in tears cloth'd night and day 
Melted all my soul away. 
When they saw my tears, a smile 
That did Heaven itself beguile, 
Bore the Golden Net aloft, 
As on downy pinions soft, 
194 



THE PICKERING MS. 

Over the Morning of my day. 
Underneath the net I stray, 
Now intreating Burning Fire, 
Now intreating Iron Wire, 
Now intreating Tears and Sighs 
O ! when will the Morning rise? 



195 



THE PICKERING MS. 



THE MENTAL TRAVELLER 

ITRAVEL'D thro' a Land of Men, 
A Land of Men and Women too; 
And heard and saw such dreadful things 
As cold Earth-wanderers never knew. 



For there the Babe is born in joy 
That was begotten in dire woe; 
Just as we reap in joy the fruit 
Which we in bitter tears did sow. 



And if the Babe is born a Boy 
He's given to a Woman Old, 
Who nails him down upon a rock, 
Catches his shrieks in cups of gold. 

She binds iron thorns around his head, 
She pierces both his hands and feet, 
She cuts his heart out at his side, 
To make it feel both cold and heat. 
196 



THE PICKERING MS. 

Her fingers number every nerve, 
Just as a miser counts his gold; 
She lives upon his shrieks and cries, 
And she grows young as he grows old. 



Till he becomes a bleeding Youth, 
And she becomes a Virgin bright; 
Then he rends up his manacles, 
And binds her down for his delight. 

He plants himself in all her nerves, 
Just as a Husbandman his mould; 
And she becomes his dwelling-place 
And Garden fruitful seventy-fold. 

An Aged Shadow, soon he fades, 
Wandering round an earthly cot, 
Full filled all with gems and gold 
Which he by industry had got. 

And these are the gems of the Human Soul, 
The rubies and pearls of a love-sick eye, 
The countless gold of the aking heart, 
The martyr's groan and the lover's sigh. 

197 



THE PICKERING MS. 

They are his meat, they are his drink; 
He feeds the Beggar and the Poor 
And the wayfaring Traveller : 
For ever open is his door. 

His grief is their eternal joy; 

They make the roofs and walls to ring; 

Till from the fire on the hearth 

A little Female Babe does spring. 

And she is all of solid fire 
And gems and gold, that none his hand 
Dares stretch to touch her Baby form, 
Or wrap her in his swadling-band. 

But she comes to the Man she loves, 
If young or old, or rich or poor; 
They soon drive out the aged Host, 
A Beggar at another's door. 

He wanders weeping far away, 
Until some other take him in ; 
Oft blind and age-bent, sore distrest, 
Until he can a Maiden win. 
198 



THE PICKERING MS. 

And to allay his freezing Age, 
The Poor Man takes her in his arms ; 
The Cottage fades before his sight, 
The Garden and its lovely charms. 



The Guests are scattered thro* the land, 
For the eye altering alters all ; 
The senses roll themselves in fear, 
And the flat Earth becomes a Ball; 

The Stars, Sun, Moon, all shrink away, 
A desart vast without a bound, 
And nothing left to eat or drink, 
And a dark desart all around. 

The honey of her Infant lips, 
The bread and wine of her sweet smile, 
The wild game of her roving eye, 
Does him to Infancy beguile ; 

For as he eats and drinks he grows 
Younger and younger every day ; 
And on the desart wild they both 
Wander in terror and dismay. 

199 



THE PICKERING MS. 

Like the wild stag she flees away, 
Her fear plants many a thicket wild ; 
While he pursues her night and day, 
By various arts of love beguil'd ; 

By various arts of love and hate, 
Till the wide desart planted o'er 
With labyrinths of wayward love, 
Where roam the lion, wolf, and boar. 



Till he becomes a wayward Babe, 
And she a weeping Woman Old. 
Then many a Lover wanders here; 
The Sun and Stars are nearer roll'd ; 

The trees bring forth sweet extasy 

To all who in the desart roam ; 

Till many a City there is built, 

And many a pleasant Shepherd's home. 

But when they find the frowning Babe, 
Terror strikes thro' the region wide : 
They cry * The Babe ! the Babe is born ! * 
And flee away on every side. 
200 



THE PICKERING MS. 

For who dare touch the frowning form, 
His arm is wither'd to its root; 
Lions, boars, wolves, all howling flee, 
And every tree does shed its fruit. 

And none can touch that frowning form, 
Except it be a Woman Old; 
She nails him down upon the rock, 
And all is done as I have told. 



201 



THE PICKERING MS. 

THE LAND OF DREAMS 

AVAKE, awake, my little Boy! 
Thou wast thy Mother's only joy; 
Why dost thou weep in thy gentle sleep? 
Awake! thy Father does thee keep. 

* O, what land is the Land of Dreams ? 

What are its mountains, and what are its streams ? 

Father ! I saw my Mother there, 
Among the Lillies by waters fair. 

' Among the lambs, clothed in white, 

She walk'd with her Thomas in sweet delight. 

1 wept for joy, like a dove I mourn; 
O! when shall I again return?' 

Dear Child, I also by pleasant streams 

Have wander'd all night in the Land of Dreams; 

But tho' calm and warm the waters wide, 

I could not get to the other side. 

* Father, O Father ! what do we here 
In this Land of unbelief and fear ? 
The Land of Dreams is better far, 
Above the light of the Morning Star/ 

202 



THE PICKERING MS. 



MARY 

SWEET Mary, the first time she ever was there, 
Came into the ball-room among the fair ; 
The young men and maidens around her throng, 
And these are the words upon every tongue : 

'An Angel is here from the heavenly climes, 
Or again does return the golden times; 
Her eyes outshine every brilliant ray, 
She opens her lips 'tis the Month of May/ 

Mary moves in soft beauty and conscious delight, 
To augment with sweet smiles all the joys of the night, 
Nor once blushes to own to the rest of the fair 
That sweet Love and Beauty are worthy our care. 

In the morning the villagers rose with delight, 
And repeated with pleasure the joys of the night, 
And Mary arose among friends to be free, 
But no friend from henceforward thou, Mary, shalt see. 

203 



THE PICKERING MS. 

Some said she was proud, some call'd her a whore, 
And some, when she passed by, shut to the door ; 
A damp cold came o'er her, her blushes all fled; 
Her lillies and roses are blighted and shed. 



' O, why was I born with a different face ? 
Why was I not born like this Envious race ? 
Why did Heaven adorn me with bountiful hand, 
And then set me down in an Envious land ? 



'To be weak as a Lamb and smooth as a Dove, 
And not to raise Envy, is call'd Christian Love; 
But if you raise Envy your merit's to blame 
For planting such spite in the weak and the tame. 

' I will humble my Beauty, I will not dress fine, 

I will keep from the ball, and my eyes shall not shine ; 

And if any girl's lover forsakes her for me 

I'll refuse him my hand, and from Envy be free.' 

She went out in morning attir'd plain and neat ; 
' Proud Mary's gone mad,' said the child in the street; 
She went out in morning in plain neat attire, 
And came home in evening bespatter'd with mire. 
204 



THE PICKERING MS. 

She trembled and wept, sitting on the bedside, 
She forgot it was night, and she trembled and cried 
She forgot it was night, she forgot it was morn, 
Her soft memory imprinted with faces of Scorn; 

With faces of Scorn and with eyes of Disdain, 
Like foul fiends inhabiting Mary's mild brain ; 
She remembers no face like the Human Divine; 
All faces have Envy, sweet Mary, but thine ; 

And thine is a face of sweet Love in despair, 
And thine is a face of mild sorrow and care, 
And thine is a face of wild terror and fear 
That shall never be quiet till laid on its bier. 



203 



THE PICKERING MS. 



THE CRYSTAL CABINET 

THE Maiden caught me in the wild, 
Where I was dancing merrily; 
She put me into her Cabinet, 
And lock'd me up with a golden key. 

This Cabinet is form'd of Gold 
And Pearl and Crystal shining bright, 
And within it opens into a World 
And a little lovely Moony Night. 

Another England there I saw, 
Another London with its Tower, 
Another Thames and other Hills, 
And another pleasant Surrey Bower, 

Another Maiden like herself, 
Translucent, lovely, shining clear, 
Threefold each in the other clos'd 
O, what a pleasant trembling fear ! 
206 



THE PICKERING MS. 

O, what a smile! a Threefold Smile 
Fill'd me, that like a flame I burn'd ; 
I bent to kiss the lovely Maid, 
And found a Threefold Kiss return'd. 

I strove to seize the inmost form 
With ardour fierce and hands of flame, 
But burst the Crystal Cabinet, 
And like a Weeping Babe became 

A Weeping Babe upon the wild, 
And Weeping Woman pale reclin'd, 
And in the outward air again 
I fill'd with woes the passing wind. 



207 



THE PICKERING MS. 



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 jour hand, 
And Eternity in an hour. 

A Robin Redbreast in a cage 

Puts all Heaven in a rage. 

A dove-house fill'd with Doves and 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 dipt and arm'd for fight 

Does the Rising Sun affright. 

Every Wolfs and Lion's howl 

Raises from Hell a Human Soul. 

208 



THE PICKERING MS. 

The wild Deer, wandering here and there, 

Keeps the Human Soul from care. 

The Lamb misus'd breeds Public Strife, 

And yet forgives the Butcher's knife. 

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 Catterpiller on the Leaf 

Repeats to thee thy Mother's grief. 

Kill not the Moth nor Butterfly, 

For the Last judgment draweth nigh. 

He who shall train the Horse to war 

Shall never pass the Polar Bar. 

The Beggar's Dog and Widow's Cat, 

Feed them, and thou wilt grow fat. 

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. 
The Gnat that sings his Summer's song 
p 209 



THE PICKERING MS. 

Poison gets from Slander's tongue. 
The poison of the Snake and Newt 
Is the sweat of Envy's foot. 
The poison of the Honey Bee 
Is the Artist's Jealousy. 
A Truth that's told with bad intent 
Beats all the Lies you can invent. 

Joy and Woe are woven fine, 
A Clothing for the Soul divine ; 
Under every grief and pine 
Runs a Joy with silken twine. 
It is right it should be so ; 
Man was made for Joy and Woe ; 
And when this we rightly know, 
Thro' the World we safely go. 
The Babe is more than Swadling-bands; 
Throughout all these Human lands 
Tools were made, and 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, and Roar 
Are Waves that beat on Heaven's Shore. 
210 



THE PICKERING MS. 

The Babe that weeps the Rod beneath 

Writes Revenge in realms of Death. 

He who mocks the Infant's Faith 

Shall be mock'd in Age and Death. 

He who shall teach the Child to doubt 

The rotting Grave shall ne'er get out. 

He who respects the Infant's Faith 

Triumphs over Hell and Death. 

The Child's Toys and 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. 

A Riddle, or the Cricket's cry, 

Is to Doubt a fit Reply. 

The Emmet's Inch and 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 and Moon should doubt, 

They'd immediately go out. 

The Prince's Robes and Beggar's Rags 
Are Toadstools on the Miser's Bags. 
The Beggar's Rags, fluttering in air, 

211 



THE PICKERING MS. 

Does to Rags the Heavens tear. 
The Poor Man's Farthing is worth more 
Than all the Gold on Afric's shore. 
One Mite wrung from the Lab'rer's hands 
Shall buy and sell the Miser's lands; 
Or, if protected from on high, 
Does that whole Nation sell and buy. 
The Soldier, arm'd with Sword and Gun, 
Palsied strikes the Summer's Sun. 
The strongest Poison ever known 
Came from Caesar's Laurel Crown. 
Nought can deform the Human Race 
Like to the Armour's iron brace. 
When Gold and Gems adorn the Plow 
To peaceful Arts shall Envy bow. 
To be in a Passion you Good may do, 
But no Good if a Passion is in you. 
The Whore and Gambler, by the State 
Licensed, 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 and every Morn 
Some to Misery are born. 
212 



THE PICKERING MS. 

Every Morn and every Night 

Some are born to Sweet Delight. 

Some are born to Sweet Delight, 

Some are born to Endless Night. 

We are led to believe a Lie 

When we see not thro 1 the Eye, 

Which was born in a Night, to perish in a Night, 

When the Soul slept in Beams of Light. 

God appears, and God is Light, 

To those poor Souls who dwell in Night; 

But does a Human Form display 

To those who dwell in Realms of Day. 



213 



THE PICKERING MS. 



WILLIAM BOND 

I WONDER whether the Girls are mad, 
And I wonder whether they mean to kill, 
And I wonder if William Bond will die, 
For assuredly he is very ill. 

He went to Church in a May morning, 
Attended by Fairies, one, two, and three; 
But the Angels of Providence drove them away, 
And he returned home in Misery. 

He went not out to the Field nor Fold, 
He went not out to the Village nor Town, 
But he came home in a Black, Black Cloud, 
And took to his bed, and there lay down. 

And an Angel of Providence at his feet, 
And an Angel of Providence at his head, 
And in the midst a Black, Black Cloud, 
And in the midst the Sick Man on his bed. 

And on his right hand was Mary Green, 

And on his left hand was his Sister Jane, 

And their tears fell thro* the Black, Black Cloud 

To drive away the Sick Man's pain. 

214 



THE PICKERING MS. 

' O William, if thou dost another love, 
Dost another love better than poor Mary, 
Go and take that other to be thy Wife, 
And Mary Green shall her Servant be/ 

' Yes, Mary, I do another love, 
Another I love far better than thee, 
And Another I will have for my Wife; 
Then what have I to do with thee? 

'For thou art melancholy pale, 

And on thy head is the cold Moon's shine, 

But she is ruddy and bright as day, 

And the Sunbeams dazzle from her eyne.' 

Mary trembled and Mary chill'd, 
And Mary fell down on the right-hand floor, 
That William Bond and his Sister Jane 
Scarce could recover Mary more. 

When Mary woke and found her laid 
On the right hand of her William dear, 
On the right hand of his loved bed, 
And saw her William Bond so near, 

The Fairies that fled from William Bond 
Danced around her Shining Head; 
They danced over the Pillow white, 
And the Angels of Providence left the bed. 

215 



THE PICKERING MS. 

I thought Love lived in the hot Sunshine, 
But O, he lives in the Moony light! 
I thought to find Love in the heat of Day, 
But sweet Love is the Comforter of Night. 

Seek Love in the Pity of others' Woe, 

In the gentle relief of another's care, 

In the Darkness of Night and the Winter's Snow, 

In the naked and outcast, seek Love there ! 



216 



LATER POEMS FROM 
THE ROSSETTI MS. 



217 



LATER POEMS FROM THE ROSSETTI MS. 



MY SPECTRE AROUND ME NIGHT AND DAY 

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? 

219 



LATER POEMS FROM 

* Seven of my sweet Loves thy knife 
Has bereaved 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. 
220 



THE ROSSETTI MS. 

'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, 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 aking head. 

'Till I turn from Female Love 
And root up the Infernal Grove, 
I shall never worthy be 
To step into Eternity. 

221 



LATER POEMS FROM 

'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/ 



222 



THE ROSSETTI MS. 



MOCK ON, MOCK ON, VOLTAIRE, ROUSSEAU 

MOCK on, Mock on, Voltaire, Rousseau; 
Mock on, Mock on; 'tis all in vain! 
You throw the sand against the wind, 
And the wind blows it back again. 

And every sand becomes a Gem 
Reflected in the beams divine ; 
Blown back they blind the mocking eye, 
But still in Israel's paths they shine. 

The Atoms of Democritus 
And Newton's Particles of Light 
Are sands upon the Red Sea shore, 
Where Israel's tents do shine so bright. 



223 



LATER POEMS FROM 



I SAW A MONK OF CHARLEMAINE 

IS AW a Monk of Charlemaine 
Arise before my sight: 
I talk'd to the Grey Monk where he stood 
In beams of infernal light. 

Gibbon arose with a lash of steel, 
And Voltaire with a racking wheel : 
The Schools, in clouds of learning roll'd, 
Arose with War in iron and gold. 

'Thou lazy Monk/ they said afar, 
' In vain condemning glorious War, 
And in thy cell thou shall ever dwell. 
Rise, War, and bind him in his cell!' 



The blood red ran from the Grey Monk's side, 
His hands and feet were wounded wide, 
His body bent, his arms and knees 
Like to the roots of ancient trees. 
224 



THE ROSSETTI MS. 

'I see, I see,' the Mother said, 
' My children will die for lack of bread. 
What more has the merciless Tyrant said?' 
The Monk sat down on her stony bed. 

His eye was dry, no tear could flow; 
A hollow groan first spoke his woe. 
He trembled and shudder'd upon the bed; 
At length with a feeble cry he said: 

'When God commanded this hand to write 
In the studious hours of deep midnight, 
He told me that all I wrote should prove 
The bane of all that on earth I love. 



'My brother starv'd between two walls; 
Thy children's cry my soul appalls: 
I mock'd at the rack and griding chain ; 
My bent body mocks at their torturing pain. 

' Thy father drew his sword in the North ; 
With his thousands strong he is [marched] forth; 
Thy brother has armed himself in steel 
To revenge the wrongs thy children feel, 
q 225 



LATER POEMS FROM 

* But vain the sword and vain the bow, 
They never can work War's overthrow; 
The Hermit's prayer and the Widow's tear 
Alone can free the world from fear. 



' The hand of Vengeance sought the bed 
To which the purple Tyrant fled; 
The iron hand crush'd the Tyrant's head, 
And became a Tyrant in his stead. 

' Until the Tyrant himself relent, 
The Tyrant who first the black bow bent, 
Slaughter shall heap the bloody plain: 
Resistance and War is the Tyrant's gain. 

' But the Tear of Love and forgiveness sweet, 
And submission to death beneath his feet 
The tear shall melt the sword of steel, 
And every wound it has made shall heal. 

' For the Tear is an Intellectual thing, 
And a Sigh is the Sword of an Angel King, 
And the bitter groan of the Martyr's woe 
Is an Arrow from the Almighty's Bow.' 
226 



THE ROSSETTI MS. 



MORNING 

TO find the Western path, 
Right thro' the Gates of Wrath 
I urge my way ; 
Sweet Mercy leads me on 
With soft repentant moan: 
I see the break of day. 

The war of swords and spears, 
Melted by dewy tears, 
Exhales on high ; 
The Sun is freed from fears, 
And with soft grateful tears 
Ascends the sky. 



227 



LATER POEMS FROM 



THE BIRDS 

He. T "X yTHERE thou dwellest, in what Grove, 

V V Tell me Fair One, tell me Love ; 
Where thou thy charming nest dost build, 

thou pride of every field ! 

She. Yonder stands a lonely tree, 

There I live and mourn for thee; 
Morning drinks my silent tear, 
And evening winds my sorrow bear. 

He. O thou summer's harmony, 

1 have liv'd and mourn'd for thee; 
Each day I mourn along the wood, 
And night hath heard my sorrows loud. 

She. Dost thou truly long for me? 
And am I thus sweet to thee ? 
Sorrow now is at an end, 
O my Lover and my Friend! 

He. Come, on wings of joy we'll fly 

To where my bower hangs on high ; 
Come, and make thy calm retreat 
Among green leaves and blossoms sweet. 
228 



THE ROSSETTI MS. 



YOU DON'T BELIEVE 

YOU don't believe 1 won't attempt to make ye: 
You are asleep I won't attempt to wake ye. 
Sleep on ! Sleep on ! while in your pleasant dreams 
Of Reason you may drink of Life's clear streams. 
Reason and Newton, they are quite two things; 
For so the Swallow and the Sparrow sings. 

Reason says 'Miracle': Newton says 'Doubt.' 

Aye ! that's the way to make all Nature out. 

' Doubt, doubt, and don't believe without experiment' 

That is the very thing that Jesus meant, 

When He said ' Only believe ! believe and try ! 

Try, try, and never mind the reason why ! ' 



229 



LATER POEMS FROM 



IF IT IS TRUE WHAT THE PROPHETS WRIT 

IF it is true what the Prophets write, 
That the Heathen Gods are all stocks and stones, 
Shall we, for the sake of being polite, 
Feed them with the juice of our marrow-bones? 

And if Bezaleel and Aholiab drew 
What the finger of God pointed to their view, 
Shall we suffer the Roman and Grecian rods 
To compell us to worship them as gods? 

They stole them from the Temple of the Lord 

And worshiped them that they might make Inspired Art abhor 

The Wood and Stone were call'd the Holy Things, 
And their Sublime Intent given to their kings. 
All the Atonements of Jehovah spurn'd, 
And Criminals to Sacrifices turn'd. 



230 



THE ROSSETTI MS. 

WHY WAS CUPID A BOY 

WHY was Cupid a Boy, 
And why a Boy was he ? 
He should have been a Girl, 
For aught that I can see. 

For he shoots with his bow, 
And the Girl shoots with her eye, 
And they both are merry and glad, 
And laugh when we do cry. 

Then to make Cupid a Boy 
Was surely a Woman's plan; 
For a Boy ne'er learns so much 
Till he is become a Man. 

And then he's so pierc'd with cares, 
And wounded with arrowy smarts, 
That the whole business of his life 
Is to pick out the heads of the darts. 

'Twas the Greeks' love of war 
Turn'd Love into a Boy, 
And Woman into a Statue of Stone- 
And away fled every Joy. 



231 



LATER POEMS FROM 






I ROSE UP AT THE DAWN OF DAY 

I ROSE up at the dawn of day 
' Get thee away! get thee away ! 
Pray'st thou for Riches ? Away ! away ! 
This is the Throne of Mammon grey/ 

Said I: This, sure, is very odd; 
I took it to be the Throne of God. 
For everything besides I have: 
It is only for Riches that I can crave. 

I have mental Joy, and mental Health, 
And mental Friends, and mental Wealth ; 
I've a Wife I love, and that loves me ; 
I've all but Riches bodily. 

I am in God's presence night and day, 
And He never turns His face away; 
The Accuser of Sins by my side doth stand, 
And he holds my money-bag in his hand. 
232 



THE ROSSETTI MS. 

For my worldly things God makes him pay, 
And he'd pay for more if to him I would pray 
And so you may do the worst you can do ; 
Be assur'd, Mr. Devil, I won't pray to you. 

Then if for Riches I must not pray, 
God knows, I little of Prayers need say; 
So, as a Church is known by its Steeple, 
If I pray it must be for other people. 

He says, if I do not worship him for a God, 
I shall eat coarser food, and go worse shod ; 
So, as I don't value such things as these, 
You must do, Mr. Devil, just as God please. 



233 



LATER POEMS FROM 



THE CAVERNS OF THE GRAVE I'VE SEEN 

THE Caverns of the Grave I've seen, 
And these I shew'd to England's Queen. 
But now the Caves of Hell I view, 
Who shall I dare to show them to? 
What mighty Soul in Beauty's form 
Shall dauntless view the infernal storm ? 
Egremont's Countess can controll 
The flames of Hell that round me roll; 
If she refuse, I still go on 
Till the Heavens and Earth are gone, 
Still admir'd by noble minds, 
Follow'd by Envy on the winds, 
Re-engrav'd time after time, 
Ever in their youthful prime, 
My Designs unchang'd remain. 
Time may rage, but rage in vain. 
For above Time's troubled Fountains, 
On the great Atlantic Mountains, 
In my Golden House on high, 
There they shine Eternally. 



234 



THE ROSSETTI MS. 



[TO THE QUEEN 

THE Door of Death is made of Gold, 
That Mortal Eyes cannot behold ; 
But when the Mortal Eyes are clos'd, 
And cold and pale the Limbs repos'd, 
The Soul awakes; and, wond'ring, sees 
In her mild Hand the golden Keys: 
The Grave is Heaven's golden Gate, 
And rich and poor around it wait; 
O Shepherdess of England's Fold, 
Behold this Gate of Pearl and Gold ! 

To dedicate to England's Queen 
The Visions that my Soul has seen, 
And, by Her kind permission, bring 
What I have borne on solemn Wing, 
From the vast regions of the Grave, 
Before Her Throne my Wings I wave; 
Bowing before my Sov'reign's feet, 
The Grave produced these Blossoms sweet 
In mild repose from Earthly strife ; 
The Blossoms of Eternal Life!'] 



235 



POEMS FROM 'MILTON 
AND 'JERUSALEM' 



237 



FROM MILTON ' 

A4D 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. 



239 



FROM 'JERUSALEM' 



To the Public 

RiADER! . . . of books . . . of Heaven, 
And of that God from whom . . . 
Who in mysterious Sinai's awful cave 
To Man the wondrous art of writing gave; 
Again He speaks in thunder and in fire, 
Thunder of Thought and flames of fierce Desire. 
Even from the depths of Hell his voice I hear 
Within the unfathom'd caverns of my Ear. 
Therefore I print: nor vain my types shall be. 
Heaven, Earth, and Hell, henceforth shall live in harmc 



240 



FROM 'JERUSALEM' 



II 



SUCH Visions have appear'd to me, 
As I my order'd race have run : 
Jerusalem is nam'd Liberty 
Among the Sons of Albion. 



241 



FROM 'JERUSALEM' 



III 

To the Jews 

r I ^HE fields from Islington to Marybone, 

JL To Primrose Hill and Saint John's Wood, 
Were builded over with pillars of gold ; 
And there Jerusalem's pillars stood. 

Her Little Ones ran on the fields, 
The Lamb of God among them seen, 
And fair Jerusalem, his Bride, 
Among the little meadows green. 

Pancras and Kentish Town repose 
Among her golden pillars high, 
Among her golden arches which 
Shine upon the starry sky. 

The Jew's-harp House and the Green Man, 
The Ponds where Boys to bathe delight, 
The fields of Cows by William's farm, 
Shine in Jerusalem's pleasant sight. 
242 



FROM 'JERUSALEM' 

She walks upon our meadows green ; 
The Lamb of God walks by her side ; 
And every English Child is seen, 
Children of Jesus and his Bride; 



Forgiving trespasses and sins, 
Lest Babylon, with cruel Og, 
With Moral and Self-righteous Law, 
Should crucify in Satan's Synagogue. 

What are those Golden Builders doing 
Near mournful ever-weeping Paddington, 
Standing above that mighty Ruin, 
Where Satan the first victory won ; 

Where Albion slept beneath the fatal Tree, 

And the Druid's golden Knife 

Rioted in human gore, 

In Offerings of Human Life ? 

They groan'd aloud on London Stone, 
They groan'd aloud on Tyburn's Brook : 
Albion gave his deadly groan, 
And all the Atlantic Mountains shook. 

243 



FROM JERUSALEM ' 

Albion's Spectre, from his Loins, 
Tore forth in all the pomp of War ; 
Satan his name; in flames of fire 
He stretch'd his Druid Pillars far. 



Jerusalem fell from Lambeth's Vale, 
Down thro* Poplar and Old Bow, 
Thro' Maiden, and across the Sea, 
In War and howling, death and woe. 

The Rhine was red with human blood 
The Danube roll'd a purple tide; 
On the Euphrates Satan stood, 
And over Asia stretch'd his pride. 

He withered up sweet Zion's Hill 
From every Nation of the Earth ; 
He wither'd up Jerusalem's Gates, 
And in a dark Land gave her birth. 

He wither'd up the Human Form 
By laws of sacrifice for Sin, 
Till it became a Mortal Worm, 
But O ! translucent all within. 
244 



FROM 'JERUSALEM' 

The Divine Vision still was seen, 
Still was the Human Form Divine; 
Weeping, in weak and mortal clay, 
O Jesus! still the Form was Thine! 



And Thine the Human Face; and Thine 
The Human Hands, and Feet, and Breath, 
Entering thro* the Gates of Birth, 
And passing thro' the Gates of Death. 

And O Thou Lamb of God ! whom I 
Slew in my dark self-righteous pride, 
Art Thou return'd to Albion's Land, 
And is Jerusalem Thy Bride ? 

Come to my arms, and nevermore 
Depart ; but dwell for ever here ; 
Create my Spirit to Thy Love; 
Subdue my Spectre to Thy Fear. 

Spectre of Albion ! warlike Fiend ! 
In clouds of blood and ruin roll'd, 
I here reclaim thee as my own, 
My Selfhood Satan arm'd in gold ! 

245 



FROM 'JERUSALEM' 

Is this thy soft Family Love, 
Thy cruel Patriarchal pride ; 
Planting thy Family alone, 
Destroying all the World beside? 

A man's worst Enemies are those 
Of his own House and Family; 
And he who makes his Law a curse, 
By his own Law shall surely die ! 

In my Exchanges every Land 

Shall walk ; and mine in every Land, 

Mutual shall build Jerusalem, 

Both heart in heart and hand in hand. 



246 



FROM 'JERUSALEM ' 



IV 



E\CH Man is in his Spectre's power 
Until the arrival of that hour 
When his Humanity awake, 
And cast his Spectre into the Lake. 



247 



FROM JERUSALEM' 



To the Deists 



IS AW a Monk of Charlemaine 
Arise before my sight: 
I talk'd with the Grey Monk as we stood 
In beams of infernal light. 

Gibbon arose with a lash of steel, 
And Voltaire with a racking wheel ; 
The Schools, in clouds of learning roll'd, 
Arose with War in iron and gold. 

* Thou lazy Monk ! ' they sound afar, 
' In vain condemning glorious War ; 
And in your cell you shall ever dwell : 
Rise, War, and bind him in his cell ! ' 

The blood red ran from the Grey Monk's side, 
His hands and feet were wounded wide, 
His body bent, his arms and knees 
Like to the roots of ancient trees. 
248 



FROM JERUSALEM ' 

When Satan first the black bow bent 
And the Moral Law from the Gospel rent, 
He forg'd the Law into a Sword, 
And spill'd the blood of Mercy's Lord. 

Titus! Constantine! Charlemaine! 
O Voltaire ! Rousseau ! Gibbon ! vain 
Your Grecian Mocks and Roman Sword 
Against this image of his Lord ; 

For a Tear is an Intellectual thing; 
And a Sigh is the Sword of an Angel King 
And the bitter groan of a Martyr's woe 
Is an Arrow from the Almighty's Bow. 



249 



FROM 'JERUSALEM' 



VI 

To the Christians 

I GIVE you the end of a golden string ; 
Only wind it into a ball, 
It will lead you in at Heaven's gate, 
Built in Jerusalem's wall. 



250 



FROM 'JERUSALEM' 



VII 

To the Christians 

ENGLAND! awake! awake! awake! 
Jerusalem thy Sister calls ! 
Why wilt thou sleep the sleep of death, 
And close her from thy ancient walls? 

Thy hills and valleys felt her feet 
Gently upon their bosoms move: 
Thy Gates beheld sweet Zion's ways; 
Then was a time of joy and love. 

And now the time returns again: 
Our souls exult, and London's towers 
Receive the Lamb of God to dwell 
In England's green and pleasant bowers. 



251 



FROM 'JERUSALEM' 



VIII 

Especially to the Female 

IN Heaven the only Art of Living 
Is Forgetting and Forgiving; 
But if you on Earth forgive 
You shall not find where to live. 



2.52 



EPIGRAMS AND 

SHORT SATIRICAL PIECES 



253 



ON FRIENDS AND FOES 

I 

I AM no Homer's Hero you all know; 
I profess not Generosity to a Foe. 
My Generosity is to my Friends, 
That for their Friendship I may make amends. 
The Generous to Enemies promotes their ends, 
And becomes the Enemy and Betrayer of his Friends. 

II 

ANGER and Wrath my bosom rends: 
I thought them the Errors of Friends. 
But all my limbs with warmth glow: 
I find them the Errors of the Foe. 

Ill 

IFyouplayaGameof Chance, know, before you begin, 
If you are benevolent you will never win. 



EPIGRAMS 

IV 
[Of Hayley's birth] 

OF H 's birth this was the happy lot: 

His Mother on his Father him begot. 

V 
[On Hayley] 

TO forgive Enemies H does pretend, 

Who never in his life forgave a Friend, 
And when he could not act upon my wife 
Hired a villain to bereave my life. 

VI 

To H [ay ley] 

THY Friendship oft has made my heart to ake 
Do be my Enemy for Friendship's sake. 

VII 

On H[ayle]y's Friendship 

WHEN H y finds out what you cannot do, 

That is the very thing he'll set you to; 

If you break not your neck, 'tis not his fault; 

But pecks of poison are not pecks of salt. 



ON FRIENDS AND FOES 

VIII 

On H[ayleyJ the Pickthank 

I WRITE the Rascal thanks, till he and I 

With Thanks and Compliments are quite drawn dry. 

IX 

MY title as a Genius thus is prov'd: 

Not prais'd by Hayley, nor by Flaxman lov'd. 

X 

To FQaxman] 

YOU call me Mad, 'tis folly to do so 
To seek to turn a Madman to a Foe. 
If you think as you speak, you are an Ass; 
If you do not, you are but what you was. 

XI 

To F[laxman] 

I MOCK thee not, though I by thee am mocked; 
Thou call'st me Madman, but I call thee Blockhead, 
s 2.57 



EPIGRAMS 

XII 

To Nancy F[laxman] 

HOW can I help thy Husband's copying Me? 
Should that make difference 'twixt me and thee? 



XIII 

To F[laxman] and S[tothard] 

I FOUND them blind: I taught them how to see; 
And now they know neither themselves nor me. 
'Tis excellent to turn a thorn to a pin, 
A Fool to a bolt, a Knave to a glass of gin. 



XIV 

To S[tothar]d 

YOU all your Youth observed the Golden Rule, 
Till you're at last become the Golden Fool : 
I sport with Fortune, merry, blithe and gay, 
Like to the Lion sporting with his Prey. 
Take you the hide and horns which you may wear 
Mine is the flesh the bones may be your share. 



ON FRIENDS AND FOES 



XV 

Cromek speaks 

I ALWAYS take my judgment from a Fool 
Because his judgment is so very cool ; 
Not prejudiced by feelings great or small, 
Amiable state ! he cannot feel at all. 



XVI 

On S[tothard] 

YOU say reserve and modesty he has, 

Whose heart is iron, his head wood, and his face brass. 

The Fox, the Owl, the Beetle, and the Bat 

By sweet reserve and modesty get fat. 



XVII 

On Stothard] 

S , in Childhood, on the nursery floor, 

Was extreme old and most extremely poor : 
He has grown old, and rich, and what he will ; 
He is extreme old, and extreme poor still. 



EPIGRAMS 

XVIII 

Mr. Stothard to Mr. Cromek 

FOR Fortune's favours you your riches bring, 
But Fortune says she gave you no such thing. 
Why should you be ungrateful to your friends 
Sneaking and backbiting, and odds and ends ? 

XIX 
Mr. Cromek to Mr. Stothard 

FORTUNE favours the Brave, old proverbs say; 
But not with Money; that is not the way. 
Turn back! turn back! you travel all in vain; 
Turn through the iron gate down Sneaking Lane, 



XX 

[On Cromek] 

CR loves artists as he loves his Meat: 

He loves the Art; but 'tis the art to cheat. 
260 



ON FRIENDS AND FOES 

XXI 

On Cromek] 

A PETTY Sneaking Knave I knew 
O ! Mr. Cr , how do ye do ? 



XXII 
Dn Phillips] 

P loved me not as he lov'd his friends ; 

For he lov'd them for gain, to serve his ends 
He loved me, and for no gain at all, 
But to rejoice and triumph in my fall. 



XXIII 
Dn William Haines] 

THE Sussex men are noted Fools, 
And weak is their brain pan~- 

I wonder if H the painter 

i Is not a Sussex man. 

261 



EPIGRAMS 



XXIV 

[On Fuseli] 

THE only Man that e'er I knew 
Who did not make me almost spew 
Was Fuseli: he was both Turk and Jew 
And so, dear Christian Friends, how do you do ? 



XXV 

[To Hunt] 

'MADMAN* I have been call'd: 'Fool' they call thee 
I wonder which they envy thee or me? 



XXVI 

To H[unt] 

YOU think Fuseli is not a Great Painter. I'm glad, 
This is one of the best compliments he ever had. 



262 



ON FRIENDS AND FOES 

XXVII 

On certain Mystics] 

COSWAY, Frazer, and Baldwin of Egypt's Lake 
Fear to associate with Blake. 
This Life is a warfare against Evils; 
They heal the sick: he casts out devils. 
Hayley, Flaxman, and Stothard are also in doubt 
Lest their Virtue should be put to the rout. 
One grins, t'other spits, and in corners hides, 
And all the Virtuous have shown their backsides. 

XXVIII 

. . . AND his legs carried it like a long fork, 
Reached all the way from Chichester to York, 
From York all across Scotland to the sea; 
This was a Man of Men, as seems to me. 
Not only in his Mouth his own Soul lay, 
But my Soul also would he bear away. 
Like as a Pedlar bears his weary Pack, 
So Stewhard's Soul he buckled to his back. 
But once, alas ! committing a mistake, 
He bore the wretched Soul of William Blake 

263 



EPIGRAMS 

That he might turn it into eggs of gold ; 
But neither back nor mouth those eggs could hold. 
His under jaw drop'd as those eggs he laid, 
And Stewhard's eggs are addled and decay 'd. 
The Examiner, whose very name is Hunt, 
Call'd Death a Madman, trembling for the affront; 
Like trembling Hare sits on his weakly paper 
On which he used to dance and sport and caper. 
Yorkshire Jack Hemp and Quibble, blushing daw, 
Clap'd Death into the corner of their jaw, 
And Felpham Billy rode out every morn, 
Horseback with Death, over the fields of corn; 
Who with iron hand cufFd, in the afternoon, 
The ears of Billy's Lawyer and Dragoon. 
And Cur my lawyer, and Daddy, Jack Hemp's parson, 
Both went to law with Death to keep our ears on. 
For how to starve Death we had laid a plot 
Against his price but Death was in the pot. 
He made them pay his price, alackaday ! 
He knew both Law and Gospel better than they. 
O that I ne'er had seen that William Blake, 
Or could from Death Assassinette wake ! 
We thought alas, that such a thought could be! 
That Blake would etch for him and draw for me. 
For 'twas a kind of bargain Screwmuch made 
That Blake's designs should be by us display'd, 
264 



ON FRIENDS AND FOES 

Because he makes designs so very cheap. 

Then Screwmuch at Blake's Soul took a long leap. 

'Twas not a Mouse. 'Twas Death in a disguise. 

And I, alas ! live to weep out my eyes. 

And Death sits laughing on their Monuments 

On which he's written * Received the Contents/ 

But I have writ so sorrowful my thought is 

His epitaph ; for my tears are aquafortis. 

* Come, Artists, knock your head against this stone, 

For sorrow that our friend Bob Screwmuch's gone/ 

And now the Muses upon me smile and laugh 

I'll also write my own dear epitaph, 

And I'll be buried near a dyke 

That my friends may weep as much as they like: 

'Here lies Stewhard the Friend of all [Mankind; 

He has not left one enemy behind.]' 



265 



EPIGRAMS 

XXIX 

. . . FOR this is being a Friend just in the nick, 
Not when he's well, but waiting till he's sick; 
He calls you to his help ; be you not mov'd 
Until, by being sick, his wants are prov'd. 

You see him spend his Soul in Prophecy: 
Do you believe it a confounded lie, 
Till some Bookseller, and the Public Fame, 
Prove there is truth in his extravagant claim. 

For 'tis atrocious in a Friend you love 
To tell you anything that he can't prove, 
And 'tis most wicked in a Christian Nation 
For any man to pretend to Inspiration. 

XXX 

WAS I angry with Hayley who us'd me so ill, 
Or can I be angry with Felpham's old Mill ? 
Or angry with Flaxman, or Cromek, or Stothard, 
Or poor Schiavonetti, whom they to death bother'd? 
Or angry with Macklin, or Boydell, or Bowyer, 
Because they did not say * O what a beau ye are* ? 
At a Friend's errors anger show, 
Mirth at the errors of a Foe. 
266 



ON FRIENDS AND FOES 



XXXI 

HAVING given great offence by writing in Prose, 
111 write in Verse as soft as Bartoloze. 
Some blush at what others can see no crime in ; 
But nobody sees any harm in Rhyming. 
Dryden, in Rhyme, cries 'Milton only plann'd': 
Every Fool shook his bells throughout the land. 
Tom Cooke cut Hogarth down with his clean graving: 
Thousands of connoisseurs with joy ran raving. 
Thus, Hayley on his toilette seeing the soap, 
Cries, 'Homer is very much improved by Pope/ 
Some say I've given great provision to my foes, 
And that now I lead my false friends by the nose. 
Flaxman and Stothard, smelling a sweet savour, 
Cry ' Blakified drawing spoils painter and engraver ' ; 
While I, looking up to my umbrella, 
Resolv'd to be a very contrary fellow, 
Cry, looking quite from skumference to center : 
'No one can finish so high as the original Inventor/ 
Thus poor Schiavonetti died of the Cromek' 
A thing that's tied around the Examiner's neck ! 
This is my sweet apology to my friends, 
That I may put them in mind of their latter ends. 

267 



EPIGRAMS ON FRIENDS AND FOES 

If men will act like a maid smiling over a churn, 
They ought not, when it comes to another's turn, 
To grow sour at what a friend may utter, 
Knowing and feeling that we all have need of butter. 
False friends, fie ! fie ! Our friendship you shan't sever ; 
In spite we will be greater friends than ever. 



268 



ON ART AND ARTISTS 

I 
Advice of the Popes who succeeded the Age of Raphael 

DEGRADE first the Arts if you'd Mankind degrade, 
Hire Idiots to paint with cold light and hot shade, 
Give high price for the worst, leave the best in disgrace, 
And with Labours of Ignorance fill every place. 



II 

)n the great encouragement given by English Nobility and 
Gentry to Correggio, Rubens, Reynolds, Gainsborough, 
Catalani, DuCrow, and Dilbury Doodle 

AS the ignorant Savage will sell his own Wife 

For a sword, or a cutlass, a dagger, or knife ; 

So the taught, savage Englishman, spends his whole Fortune 

On a smear, or a squall, to destroy picture or tune; 

And I call upon Colonel Wardle 

To give these Rascals a dose of Caudle! 

269 



EPIGRAMS 



III 

I ASKED my dear friend Orator Prig: 

'What's the first part of Oratory?' He said: 'A great wig/ 

'And what is the second?' Then, dancing a jig 

And bowing profoundly, he said: 'A great wig/ 

'And what is the third?' Then he snored like a pig, 

And, puffing his cheeks out, replied: 'A great wig/ 

So if a Great Painter with questions you push, 

'What's the first part of Painting?' he'll say: 'A Paint-brush/ 

'And what is the second?' with most modest blush, 

He'll smile like a cherub, and say: 'A Paint-brush/ 

'And what is the third?' he'll bow like a rush, 

With a leer in his eye, he'll reply: 'A Paint-brush/ 

Perhaps this is all a Painter can want; 

But look yonder that house is the house of Rembrandt! 

IV 

'O DEAR Mother Outline! of wisdom most sage, 
What's the first part of Painting?' She said: 'Patronage/ 
'And what is the second, to please and engage?' 
She frowned like a Fury, and said: 'Patronage/ 
' And what is the third ? ' She put off Old Age, 
And smil'd like a Siren, and said; ' Patronage/ 
270 



ON ART AND ARTISTS 

V 

[On the Foundation of the Royal Academy] 

WHEN Nations grow old, the Arts grow cold, 
And Commerce settles on every tree; 
And the Poor and the Old can live upon gold, 
For all are born Poor, aged sixty-three. 



VI 

THESE are the Idiots' chiefest arts: 
To blend and not define the parts. 
The Swallow sings, in Courts of Kings, 
That Fools have their high finishings. 

And this the Princes' golden rule, 

The Laborious Stumble of a Fool. 

To make out the parts is the Wise Man's aim, 

But to loose them the Fool makes his foolish game. 



271 



EPIGRAMS 



VII 

THE Cripple every step drudges and labours, 

And says: ' Come, learn to walk of me, good neighbours 

Sir Joshua in astonishment cries out: 

' See, what Great Labour ! Pain in Modest Doubt ! 

' He walks and stumbles as if he crep, 
And how high laboured is every step ! ' 
Newton and Bacon cry ; ' Being badly nurst, 
He is all Experiments from last to first/ 



VIII 

YOU say their Pictures well painted be, 
And yet they are blockheads you all agree : 
Thank God ! I never was sent to school 
To be fiog'd into following the Style of a Fool. 
The Errors of a wise man make your Rule, 
Rather than the Perfections of a Fool. 



272 



ON ART AND ARTISTS 



IX 

English Encouragement of Art : Cromek's opinions put 
into rhyme 

IF you mean to please Everybody, you will 

Set to work both Ignorance and Skill. 

For a great multitude are ignorant, 

And Skill to them seems raving and rant. 

Like putting oil and water in a lamp, 

Twill make a great splutter with smoke and damp. 

For there is no use as it seems to me 

Of lighting a lamp, when you don't wish to see. 



X 

WHEN I see a Rubens, Rembrandt, Correggio, 
I think of the Crippled Harry and Slobbering Joe; 
And then I question thus: Are artists' rules 
To be drawn from the works of two manifest fools ? 
Then God defend us from the Arts ! I say. 
Send battle, murder, sudden death, O pray ! 
Rather than be such a blind Human Fool 
I'd be an ass, a hog, a worm, a chair, a stool ! 



273 



EPIGRAMS 



XI 

GIVE Pensions to the Learned Pig, 
Or the Hare playing on a Tabor; 
Anglus can never see Perfection 
But in the Journeyman's Labour. 

XII 

[On Sir Joshua Reynolds' disappointment at his first 
impressions of Raphael] 

SOME look to see the sweet Outlines, 
And beauteous Forms that Love does wear; 
Some look to find out Patches, Paint, 
Bracelets and Stays and Powder'd Hair. 

XIII 

SIR JOSHUA praised Rubens with a smile, 
By calling his the ornamental style; 
And yet his praise of Flaxman was the smartest, 
When he called him the Ornamental Artist. 
But sure such ornaments we well may spare 
As crooked limbs and lousy heads of hair. 
274 



ON ART AND ARTISTS 



XIV 

SIR JOSHUA praises Michael Angelo. 
'Tis Christian mildness when Knaves praise a foe 
But 'twould be Madness, all the world would say, 
Should Michael Angelo praise Sir Joshua 
Christ us'd the Pharisees in a rougher way. 



XV 

CAN there be anything more mean, 
More malice in disguise, 
Than praise a Man for doing what 
That Man does most despise ? 
Reynolds lectures exactly so 
When he praises Michael Angelo. 



275 



EPIGRAMS 



XVI 
To the Royal Academy 

A STRANGE Erratum in all the editions 
Of Sir Joshua Reynolds' Lectures 
Should be corrected by the Young Gentlemen 
And the Royal Academy's Directors. 

Instead of * Michael Angelo,' 
Read 'Rembrandt'; for it is fit 
To make mere common honesty 
In all that he has writ. 



276 



ON ART AND ARTISTS 

XVII 

Florentine Ingratitude 

SIR JOSHUA sent his own Portrait to 

The Birthplace of Michael Angelo, 

And in the hand of the simpering fool 

He put a dirty paper scroll, 

And on the paper, to be polite, 

Did 'Sketches by Michael Angelo' write. 

The Florentines said: *'Tis a Dutch-English bore, 

Michael Angelo's name writ on Rembrandt's door.' 

The Florentines call it an English fetch, 

For Michael Angelo never did sketch; 

Every line of his has Meaning, 

And needs neither Suckling nor Weaning. 

'Tis the trading English-Venetian cant 

To speak Michael Angelo, and act Rembrandt : 

It will set his Dutch friends all in a roar 

To write 'Mich. Ang.' on Rembrandt's door; 

But you must not bring in your hand a Lie 

If you mean that the Florentines should buy. 

Giotto's Circle or Apelles' Line 

Were not the work of Sketchers drunk with wine ; 

Nor of the City Clock's running . . . fashion ; 

Nor of Sir Isaac Newton's calculation. 

277 



EPIGRAMS 



XVIII 

NO real Style of Colouring ever appears, 
But advertising in the Newspapers. 
Look there you'll see Sir Joshua's Colouring 
Look at his Pictures all has taken wing! 

XIX 

WHEN Sir Joshua Reynolds died 

All Nature was degraded ; 

The King drop'd a tear into the Queen's ear, 

And all his Pictures faded. 

XX 

A Pitiful Case 

THE Villain at the Gallows tree, 
When he is doom'd to die, 
To assuage his misery 
In virtue's praise does cry. 

So Reynolds when he came to die, 

To assuage his bitter woe, 

Thus aloud did howl and cry : 

1 Michael Angelo ! Michael Angelo ! ' 

278 



ON ART AND ARTISTS 



XXI 

[On Sir Joshua Reynolds] 

O READER, behold the Philosopher's grave ! 

He was born quite a Fool, but he died quite a Knave. 



XXII 

I, RUBENS, am a Statesman and a Saint. 
Deceptions [both] and so I'll learn to paint. 



XXIII 
[On the school of Rubens] 

SWELLED limbs, with no outline that you can descry, 
That stink in the nose of a stander-by; 
But all the pulp-wash'd, painted, finish'd with labour, 
Of an hundred journeymen's how d'ye do, neighbour ? 



279 



EPIGRAMS 

XXIV 

To English Connoisseurs 

YOU must agree that Rubens was a Fool, 
And yet you make him Master of your School, 
And give more money for his slobberings 
Than you will give for Raphael's finest things. 
I understood Christ was a Carpenter 
And not a Brewer's Servant, my good Sir. 

XXV 

A Pretty Epigram for the encouragement of those 
Who have paid great sums in the Venetian and Flemish oozi 

NATURE and Art in this together suit: 
What is most Grand is always most Minute. 
Rubens thinks Tables, Chairs and Stools are grand, 
But Raphael thinks a Head, a Foot, a Hand. 



280 



ON ART AND ARTISTS 



XXVI 

RAPHAEL, sublime, majestic, graceful, wise 

His Executive Power must I despise? 

Rubens, low, vulgar, stupid, ignorant 

His Power of Execution I must grant, 

Learn the laborious stumble of a Fool, 

And from an Idiot's action form my rule ? 

Go, send jour Children to the Slobbering School ! 



XXVII 

On the Venetian Painter 

HE makes the Lame to walk, we all agree, 
But then he strives to blind those who can see. 

XXVIII 

A PAIR of Stays to mend the Shape 
Of crooked Humpy Woman, 
Put on, O Venus ; now thou art 
Quite a Venetian Roman. 



281 



EPIGRAMS 



XXIX 

VENETIAN ! all thy Colouring is no more 
Than bolster'd Plasters on a Crooked Whore. 



XXX 

To Venetian Artists 

THAT God is Colouring Newton does show, 
And the Devil is a black outline, all of us know. 
Perhaps this little Fable may make us merry: 
A dog went over the water without a wherry; 
A bone which he had stolen he had in his mouth; 
He cared not whether the wind was north or south. 
As he swam he saw the reflection of the bone. 

* This is quite Perfection one Generalizing Tone! 
Outline ! There's no Outline, there's no such thing: 
All is Chiaroscuro, Poco-pen it's all Colouring!' 
Snap, snap ! He has lost shadow and substance too. 
He had them both before. ' Now how do ye do ? ' 

* A great deal better than I was before : 

Those who taste Colouring love it more and more/ 



282 



ON ART AND ARTISTS 



XXXI 

ALL Pictures that's painted with sense and with thought 
Are painted by Madmen, as sure as a groat ; 
For the greater the Fool is the Pencil more blest, 
As when they are drunk they always paint best. 
They never can Raphael it, Fuseli it, nor Blake it; 
If they can't see an Outline, pray how can they make it? 
When men will draw Outlines begin you to jaw them; 
Madmen see Outlines and therefore they draw them. 



XXXII 

CALL that the Public Voice which is their Error ! 
Like as a Monkey, peeping in a Mirror, 
Admires all his colours brown and warm, 
And never once perceives his ugly form. 



283 



EPIGRAMS ON ART AND ARTISTS 



XXXIII 

'NOW Art has lost its Mental Charms 
France shall subdue the World in Arms/ 
So spoke an Angel at my birth ; 
Then said: 'Descend thou upon earth; 
Renew the Arts on Britain's shore, 
And France shall fall down and adore. 
With Works of Art their Armies meet 
And War shall sink beneath thy feet. 
But if thy Nation Arts refuse, 
And if they scorn the immortal Muse, 
France shall the arts of Peace restore 
And save thee from the ungrateful shore/ 

Spirit who lov'st Britannia's Isle 

Round which the Fiends of Commerce smile 



284 



MISCELLANEOUS EPIGRAMS 

I 

IS whole Life is an Epigram smart, smooth and neatly pen'd, 
Plaited quite neat to catch applause, with a hang-noose at the end. 

II 

HE has observed the Golden Rule, 
Till he's become the Golden Fool. 

Ill 

SOME people admire the work of a Fool, 
For it's sure to keep your judgment cool ; 
It does not reproach you with Want of Wit; 
It is not like a Lawyer serving a writ. 

IV 

HE'S a Blockhead who wants a proof of what he can't perceive; 
And he's a Fool who tries to make such a Blockhead believe. 

28; 



EPIGRAMS 



GREAT Men and Fools do often me inspire ; 
But the Greater Fool, the Greater Liar. 



VI 

SOME men, created for destruction, come 
Into the World, and make the World their home. 
Be they as Vile and Base as e'er they can, 
The/11 still be called 'The World's Honest Man.' 



VII 
An Epitaph 

COME knock your heads against this stone, 
For sorrow that poor John Thompson's gone. 

VIII 
Another 

I WAS buried near this dyke, 
That my Friends may weep as much as they like. 
286 



MISCELLANEOUS 
IX 



Another 



HERE lies John Trot, the Friend of all Mankind: 
He has not left one enemy behind. 
Friends were quite hard to find, old authors say; 
But now they stand in everybody's way. 

X 

WHEN France got free, Europe, 'twixt Fools and Knaves, 
Were Savage first to France, and after Slaves. 

XI 
Imitation of Pope: a compliment to the Ladies 

WONDROUS the Gods, more wondrous are the Men, 
More wondrous, wondrous still, the Cock and Hen, 
More wondrous still the Table, Stool and Chair ; 
But ah ! more wondrous still the Charming Fair. 

XII 

TO Chloe's breast young Cupid slyly stole, 
But he crept in at Myra's pocket-hole. 

287 



FOR THE SEXES: 

THE GATES OF PARADISE 



u 289 



THE GATES OF PARADISE 

[Prologue] 

MUTUAL Forgiveness of each Vice, 
Such are the Gates of Paradise, 
Against the Accuser's chief desire, 
Who walk'd among the Stones of Fire. 
Jehovah's Finger wrote the Law; 
Then wept ; then rose in zeal and awe, 
And the Dead Corpse, from Sinai's heat, 
Buried beneath his Mercy Seat. 
O Christians ! Christians ! tell me why 
You rear it on your Altars high? 

From the Legends to the Plates] 

I 

THE Sun's Light, when he unfolds it, 
Depends on the Organ that beholds it. 

291 



FOR THE SEXES 



II 

THOU waterest him with Tears: 
He struggles into Life, 
On cloudy Doubts and Reasoning Cares, 
That end in endless Strife. 

The Keys 

THE Catterpiller on the Leaf 
Reminds thee of thy Mother's Grief. 

of the Gates 

1. My Eternal Man set in repose, 
The Female from his darkness rose ; 
And She found me beneath a Tree, 
A Mandrake, and in her Veil hid me. 
Serpent Reasonings us entice 

Of Good and Evil, Virtue and Vice, 

2. Doubt Self-jealous, Watery folly; 

3. Struggling thro* Earth's Melancholy; 

4. Naked in Air, in Shame and Fear; 

5. Blind in Fire, with shield and spear; 
Two-horn'd Reasoning, Cloven Fiction, 
In Doubt, which is Self-contradiction, 

292 






THE GATES OF PARADISE 

A dark Hermaphrodite we stood 
Rational Truth, Root of Evil and Good. 
Round me flew the Flaming Sword ; 
Round her snowy Whirlwinds roar'd, 
Freezing her Veil, the Mundane Shell. 

6. I rent the Veil where the Dead dwell: 
When weary Man enters his Cave, 
He meets his Saviour in the Grave. 
Some find a Female Garment there, 
And some a Male, woven with care; 
Lest the Sexual Garments sweet 
Should grow a devouring Winding-sheet. 

7. One dies ! Alas ! the Living and Dead ! 
One is slain ! and One is fled ! 

8. In Vain-glory hatcht and nurst, 
By double Spectres, Self-accurst. 
My Son ! my Son ! thou treatest me 
But as I have instructed thee. 

9. On the shadows of the Moon, 
Climbing thro* Night's highest noon ; 

10. In Time's Ocean falling, drown'd; 

11. In Aged Ignorance profound, 
Holy and cold, I clip'd the Wings 
Of all Sublunary Things, 

12. And in depths of my Dungeons 
Closed the Father and the Sons. 

293 



FOR THE SEXES 

13. But when once I did descry 

The Immortal Man that cannot die, 

14. Thro' evening shades I haste away 
To close the Labours of my Day. 

15. The Door of Death I open found, 
And the Worm weaving in the Ground 

16. Thou'rt my Mother, from the Womb; 
Wife, Sister, Daughter, to the Tomb ; 
Weaving to dreams the Sexual strife, 
And weeping over the Web of Life. 



[Epilogue] 



To the Accuser who is 
The God of this World 



TRULY, my Satan, thou art but a Dunce, 
And dost not know the Garment from the Man ; 
Every Harlot was a Virgin once, 
Nor canst thou ever change Kate into Nan. 

Tho' thou art Worshiped by the Names Divine 
Of Jesus and Jehovah, thou art still 
The Son of Morn in weary Night's decline, 
The lost Traveller's Dream under the Hill. 



294 



THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL 



295 



THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL 

PI 

THE Vision of Christ that thou dost see 
Is my Vision's greatest Enemy. 
Thine has a great hook nose like thine ; 
Mine has a snub nose like to mine. 
Thine is the Friend of all Mankind; 
Mine speaks in Parables to the Blind. 
Thine loves the same world that mine hates 
Thy Heaven Doors are my Hell Gates. 
Socrates taught what Meletus 
Loath'd as a Nation's bitterest Curse, 
And Caiaphas was in his own Mind 
A benefactor to Mankind. 
Both read the Bible day and night, 
But thou read'st black where I read white. 



297 



THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL 



WAS Jesus Gentle, or did He 

Give any marks of Gentility? 

When twelve years old He ran away, 

And left his Parents in dismay. 

When after three days' sorrow found, 

Loud as Sinai's trumpet-sound: 

'No Earthly Parents I confess' 

My Heavenly Father's business ! 

Ye understand not what I say, 

And, angry, force Me to obey. 

Obedience is a duty then, 

And favour gains with God and Men/ 

John from the Wilderness loud cried ; 

Satan gloried in his Pride. 

'Come, 'said Satan, 'come away, 

I'll soon see if you'll obey! 

John for disobedience bled, 

But you can turn the stones to bread. 

God's High King and God's High Priest 

Shall plant their Glories in your breast, 

If Caiaphas you will obey, 

If Herod you with bloody Prey 

298 



THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL 

Feed with the Sacrifice, and be 

Obedient, fall down, worship me/ 

Thunders and lightnings broke around, 

And Jesus' voice in thunders' sound: 

'Thus I seize the spiritual Prey. 

Ye smiters with disease, make way. 

I come your King and God to seize, 

Is God a smiter with disease?' 

The God of this World rag'd in vain : 

He bound old Satan in his Chain, 

And, bursting forth, his furious ire 

Became a Chariot of fire. 

Throughout the land He took his course, 

And trac'd diseases to their source. 

He curs'd the Scribe and Pharisee, 

Trampling down Hypocrisy. 

Where'er his Chariot took its way, 

There Gates of Death let in the Day, 

Broke down from every Chain and Bar ; 

And Satan in his Spiritual War 

Drag'd at his Chariot wheels: loud howl'd 

The God of this World : louder roll'd 

The Chariot wheels, and louder still 

His voice was heard from Zion's Hill, 

And in his hand the Scourge shone bright ; 

He scourg'd the Merchant Canaanite 

299 



THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL 

From out the Temple of his Mind, 
And in his Body tight does bind 
Satan and all his Hellish Crew; 
And thus with wrath He did subdue 
The Serpent bulk of Nature's dross, 
Till He had nail'd it to the Cross. 
He took on Sin in the Virgin's Womb 
And put it off on the Cross and Tomb 
To be worshiped by the Church of Rome. 



[iii] 

WAS Jesus Humble? or did He 

Give any proofs of Humility? 

Boast of high things with humble tone, 

And give with Charity a stone ? 

When but a Child He ran away, 

And left his Parents in dismay. 

When they had wander'd three days long 

These were the words upon his tongue : 

'No Earthly Parents I confess: 

I am doing My Father's business/ 

When the rich learned Pharisee 

Came to consult Him secretly 

300 



THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL 

Upon his heart with Iron pen 
He wrote 'Ye must be born again/ 
He was too proud to take a bribe ; 
He spoke with authority, not like a Scribe. 
He says with most consummate Art 
' Follow Me, I am meek and lowly of heart, 
As that is the only way to escape 
The Miser's net and the Glutton's trap. 
What can be done with such desperate Fools 
Who follow after the Heathen Schools? 
I was standing by when Jesus died; 
What I call'd Humility, they call'd Pride. 
He who loves his Enemies betrays his Friends. 
This surely is not what Jesus intends; 
But the Sneaking Pride of Heroic Schools, 
And the Scribes' and Pharisees' virtuous Rules; 
For He acts with honest, triumphant Pride, 
And this is the cause that Jesus died. 
He did not die with Christian ease, 
Asking Pardon of His Enemies: 
If He had, Caiaphas would forgive; 
Sneaking submission can always live. 
He had only to say that God was the Devil, 
And the Devil was God, like a Christian civil; 
Mild Christian regrets to the Devil confess 
For affronting him thrice in the Wilderness; 

301 



THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL 

He had soon been bloody Caesar's Elf, 
And at last he would have been Caesar himself, 
Like Dr. Priestly and Bacon and Newton 
Poor spiritual knowledge is not worth a button I- 
For thus the Gospel Sir Isaac confutes: 
'God can only be known by his Attributes; 
And as for the In-dwelling of the Holy Ghost, 
Or of Christ and his Father, it's all a boast 
And pride, and vanity of the imagination, 
That disdains to follow this world's fashion.' 
To teach doubt and experiment 
Certainly was not what Christ meant. 
What was He doing all that time, 
From twelve years old to manly prime ? 
Was He then Idle, or the less 
About his Father's business? 
Or was his wisdom held in scorn 
Before his wrath began to burn 
In Miracles throughout the land, 
That quite unnerv'd the Seraph band ? 
If He had been Antichrist, Creeping Jesus, 
He'd have done anything to please us ; 
Gone sneaking into Synagogues, 
And not us'd the Elders and Priests like dogs ; 
But humble as a lamb or ass 
Obey'd Himself to Caiaphas. 
302 



THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL 

God wants not Man to humble himself: 

That is the trick of the Ancient Elf. 

This is the race that Jesus ran: 

Humble to God, Haughty to man, 

Cursing the Rulers before the People 

Even to the Temple's highest steeple, 

And when He humbled Himself to God 

Then descended the Cruel Rod. 

* If Thou humblest Thyself, Thou humblest Me. 

Thou also dwell'st in Eternity. 

Thou art a Man: God is no more : 

Thy own Humanity learn to adore, 

For that is My Spirit of Life. 

Awake, arise to Spiritual Strife, 

And Thy Revenge abroad display 

In terrors at the Last Judgment Day. 

God's Mercy and Long Suffering 

Is but the sinner to judgment to bring. 

Thou on the Cross for them shalt pray, 

And take Revenge at the Last Day.' 

Jesus replied, and thunders hurl'd : 

'I never will pray for the World. 

Once I did so when I pray'd in the Garden ; 

I wish'd to take with Me a Bodily Pardon.' 

Can that which was of Woman born, 

In the absence of the Morn, 

303 



THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL 

When the Soul fell into sleep, 

And Archangels round it weep, 

Shooting out against the Light 

Fibres of a deadly night, 

Reasoning upon its own dark Fiction, 

In doubt which is Self Contradiction? 

Humility is only doubt, 

And does the Sun and Moon blot out, 

Rooting over with thorns and stems 

The buried Soul and all its Gems. 

This life's Five Windows of the Soul 

Distorts the Heavens from Pole to Pole, 

And leads you to believe a Lie 

When you see with, not thro', the Eye 

That was born in a night, to perish in a night, 

When the Soul slept in the beams of light. 



[iv] 
This was spoken by my Spectre to Voltaire, Bacon, et 

DID Jesus teach doubt? or did He 
Give any lessons of Philosophy, 
Charge Visionaries with deceiving, 
Or call Men wise for not believing?. . . 
304 



THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL 



WAS Jesus born of a Virgin Pure 

With narrow Soul and looks demure? 

If He intended to take on Sin 

The Mother should an Harlot been, 

Just such a one as Magdalen, 

With seven devils in her pen. 

Or were Jew virgins still more curs'd, 

And more sucking devils nurs'd ? 

Or what was it which He took on 

That He might bring Salvation? 

A Body subject to be tempted, 

From neither pain nor grief exempted ; 

Or such a Body as might not feel 

The passions that with sinners deal ? 

Yes, but they say He never fell. 

Ask Caiaphas; for he can tell. 

'He mock'd the Sabbath, and He mock'd 

The Sabbath's God, and He unlocked 

The Evil spirits from their shrines, 

And turn'd Fishermen to Divines; 

O'erturn'd the tent of secret sins, 

And its golden cords and pins, 

x 305 



THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL 

In the bloody shrine of War 
Pour'd around from star to star 
Halls of justice, hating Vice, 
Where the Devil combs his lice. 
He turn'd the devils into swine 
That He might tempt the Jews to dine; 
Since which, a Pig has got a look 
That for a Jew may be mistook. 
" Obey your parents." What says He? 
"Woman, what have I to do with thee? 
No Earthly Parents I confess: 
I am doing My Father's business." 
He scorn'd Earth's parents, scorn'd Earth's God, 
And mock'd the one and the other's Rod ; 
His Seventy Disciples sent 
Against Religion and Government: 
They by the Sword of Justice fell, 
And Him their cruel Murderer tell. 
He left His Father's trade to roam, 
A wand'ring vagrant without home ; 
And thus He others' labour stole, 
That He might live above controll. 
The Publicans and Harlots He 
Selected for his company, 
And from the Adulteress turn'd away 
God's righteous Law, that lost its Prey.' 
306 



THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL 



[vi] 

WAS Jesus Chaste? or did He 

Give any lessons of Chastity ? 

The Morning blushed fiery red: 

Mary was found in Adulterous bed ; 

Earth groan'd beneath, and Heaven above 

Trembled at discovery of Love. 

Jesus was sitting in Moses' Chair. 

They brought the trembling woman there. 

Moses commands she be ston'd to death. 

What was the sound of Jesus' breath ? 

He laid his hand on Moses' Law ; 

The ancient Heavens, in silent awe, 

Writ with Curses from pole to pole, 

All away began to roll. 

The Earth trembling and Naked lay 

In secret bed of Mortal Clay; 

On Sinai felt the Hand Divine 

Pulling back the bloody shrine ; 

And she heard the breath of God, 

As she heard by Eden's flood : 

* Good and Evil are no more ! 

Sinai's trumpets cease to roar ! 

307 



THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL 

Cease, finger of God, to write ! 

The Heavens are not clean in Thy sight. 

Thou art good, and Thou alone; 

Nor may the sinner cast one stone. 

To be Good only, is to be 

A God or else a Pharisee. 

Thou Angel of the Presence Divine, 

That didst create this Body of Mine, 

Wherefore hast thou writ these Laws 

And created Hell's dark jaws? 

My Presence I will take from thee : 

A cold Leper thou shalt be. 

Tho' thou wast so pure and bright 

That Heaven was impure in thy sight, 

Tho' thy Oath turn'd Heaven pale, 

Tho' thy Covenant built Hell's jail, 

Tho' thou didst all to chaos roll 

With the Serpent for its soul, 

Still the breath Divine does move, 

And the breath Divine is Love. 

Mary, fear not ! Let me see 

The Seven Devils that torment thee. 

Hide not from My sight thy sin, 

That forgiveness thou may'st win. 

Has no Man condemned thee?' 

* No Man, Lord. ' * Then what is he 

308 



THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL 

Who shall accuse thee ? Come ye forth, 
Fallen Fiends of Heavenly birth, 
That have forgot your ancient love, 
And driven away my trembling Dove. 
You shall bow before her feet ; 
You shall lick the dust for meat; 
And tho' you cannot love, but hate, 
Shall be beggars at Love's Gate. 
What was thy love? Let Me see it; 
Was it love or dark deceit?' 
' Love too long from me has fled ; 
'Twas dark deceit, to earn my bread; 
'Twas covet, or 'twas custom, or 
Some trifle not worth caring for ; 
That they may call a shame and sin 
Love's Temple that God dwelleth in, 
And hide in secret hidden shrine 
The naked Human Form Divine, 
And render that a lawless thing 
On which the Soul expands its wing. 
But this, O Lord, this was my sin, 
When first I let these devils in, 
In dark pretence to chastity 
Blaspheming Love, blaspheming Thee, 
Thence rose secret adulteries, 
And thence did covet also rise. 

309 



THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL 

My sin Thou hast forgiven me ; 

Canst Thou forgive my Blasphemy ? 

Canst Thou return to this dark Hell, 

And in my burning bosom dwell ? 

And canst Thou die that I may live ? 

And canst Thou pity and forgive?* 

Then roll'd the shadowy Man away 

From the limbs of Jesus, to make them his prey, 

An ever devouring appetite, 

Glittering with festering Venoms bright; 

Crying 'Crucify this cause of distress, 

Who don't keep the secrets of holiness ! 

The Mental Powers by Diseases we bind ; 

But He heals the deaf, the dumb, and the blind. 

Whom God has afflicted for secret ends, 

He comforts and heals and calls them Friends/ 

But, when Jesus was crucified, 

Then was perfected his galling pride. 

In three nights He devour 'd his prey, 

And still He devours the Body of Clay; 

For Dust and Clay is the Serpent's meat, 

Which never was made for Man to eat. 



310 



THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL 



[vii] 

SEEING this False Christ, in fury and passion 
I made my Voice heard all over the Nation. 
What are those . 



[viii] 

I AM sure this Jesus will not do, 
Either for Englishman or Jew. 



APPENDIX 



313 



APPENDIX 



FROM 'AN ISLAND IN THE MOON* 

I 

C'TLE Phoebus came strutting in, 
With his fat belly and his round chin. 
What is it you would please to have ? 
Ho! Ho! 
I won't let it go at only so and so ! 



II 

HONOUR and Genius is all I ask, 
And I ask the Gods no more ! 

No more ! No more ! ") the three Philosophers 
No more ! No more ! ) bear chorus. 



APPENDIX 

III 

WHEN Old Corruption first begun, 
Adorn'd in yellow vest, 
He committed on Flesh a whoredom- 
O, what a wicked beast ! 

From then a callow babe did spring, 
And Old Corruption smil'd 
To think his race should never end, 
For now he had a child. 

He call'd him Surgery and fed 
The babe with his own milk; 
For Flesh and he could ne'er agree : 
She would not let him suck. 

And this he always kept in mind ; 
And form'd a crooked knife, 
And ran about with bloody hands 
To seek his mother's life. 

And as he ran to seek his mother 
He met with a dead woman. 
He fell in love and married her 
A deed which is not common ! 
3i6 



AN ISLAND IN THE MOON 

She soon grew pregnant, and brought forth 

Scurvy and Spotted Fever, 

The father grin'd and skipt about, 

And said ' I'm made for ever ! 

* For now I have procured these imps 
I'll try experiments.' 

With that he tied poor Scurvy down, 
And stopt up all its vents. 

And when the child began to swell 
He shouted out aloud : 

* I've found the Dropsy out, and soon 
Shall do the world more good.' 

He took up Fever by the neck, 

And cut out all its spots ; 

And, thro' the holes which he had made, 

He first discover'd guts. 



317 



APPENDIX 



IV 

HEAR then the pride and knowledge of a Sailor! 
His sprit sail, fore sail, main sail, and his mizen. 
A poor frail man God wot ! I know none frailer, 
I know no greater sinner than John Taylor. 



LO ! the Bat with leathern wing, 
Winking and blinking, 
Winking and blinking, 
Winking and blinking, 
Like Dr. Johnson. 

Quid. * O ho ! ' said Dr. Johnson 
To Scipio Africanus, 
' If you don't own me a Philosopher 
I'll kick your Roman anus.' 

Suction. ' A ha ! ' to Dr. Johnson 
Said Scipio Africanus, 
' Lift up my Roman petticoat 
And kiss my Roman anus.' 

And the Cellar goes down with a step. (Grand Chorus. 
318 



AN ISLAND IN THE MOON 



VI 

istVo. WANT Matches? 
2nd Vo. Yes! Yes! Yes! 
ist Vo. Want Matches ? 
2nd Vo. No! 

ist Vo. Want Matches ? 
2nd Vo. Yes! Yes! Yes! 
ist Vo. Want Matches ? 
2nd Vo. No ! 



VII 

AS I walk'd forth one May morning 
To see the fields so pleasant and so gay, 
O ! there did I spy a young maiden sweet, 
Among the violets that smell so sweet, 

smell so sweet, 
smell so sweet, 

Among the violets that smell so sweet. 

3i9 



APPENDIX 



VIII 

HAIL Matrimony, made of Love ! 
To thy wide gates how great a drove 
On purpose to be yok'd do come; 
Widows and Maids and Youths also, 
That lightly trip on beauty's toe, 
Or sit on beauty's bum. 

Hail finger-footed lovely Creatures ! 
The females of our human Natures, 
Formed to suckle all Mankind. 
'Tis you that come in time of need, 
Without you we should never breed, 
Or any Comfort find. 

For if a Damsel's blind or lame, 
Or Nature's hand has crook'd her frame, 
Or if she's deaf, or is wall-eyed ; 
Yet, if her heart is well inclin'd, 
Some tender lover she shall find 
That panteth for a Bride. 
320 



AN ISLAND IN THE MOON 

The universal Poultice this, 

To cure whatever is amiss 

In Damsel or in Widow gay ! 

It makes them smile, it makes them skip; 

Like Birds, just cured of the pip, 

They chirp and hop away. 

Then come, ye maidens ! come, ye swains ! 
Come and be cur'd of all your pains 
In Matrimony's Golden Cage . . . 

IX 

[On the Founder of the Charterhouse] 

TO be or not to be 
Of great capacity, 
Like Sir Isaac Newton, 
Or Locke, or Doctor South, 
Or Sherlock upon Death 
I'd rather be Sutton ! 

For he did build a house 
For aged men and youth, 
With walls of brick and stone ; 
He furnish'd it within 
With whatever he could win, 
And all his own. 

y 321 



APPENDIX 

He drew out of the Stocks 
His money in a box, 
And sent his servant 
To Green the Bricklayer, 
And to the Carpenter; 
He was so fervent. 

The chimneys were threescore, 
The windows many more; 
And, for convenience, 
He sinks and gutters made, 
And all the way he pav'd 
To hinder pestilence. 

Was not this a good man 
Whose life was but a span, 
Whose name was Sutton 
As Locke, or Doctor South, 
Or Sherlock upon Death, 
Or Sir Isaac Newton ? 



322 



AN ISLAND IN THE MOON 



O, I SAY, you Joe, 

Throw us the ball ! 

I've a good mind to go 

And leave you all. 

I never saw such a bowler 

To bowl the ball in a tansy, 

And to clean it with my hankercher 

Without saying a word. 

That Bill's a foolish fellow ; 

He has given me a black eye. 

He does not know how to handle a bat 

Any more than a dog or a cat : 

He has knock'd down the wicket, 

And broke the stumps, 

And runs without shoes to save his pumps. 



323 



APPENDIX 



XI 

THERE'S Doctor Clash, 
And Signer Falalasole, 
O they sweep in the cash 
Into their purse hole ! 
Fa me la sol, La me fa sol ! 

Great A, little A, 
Bouncing B ! 
Play away, play away, 
You're out of the key ! 
Fa me la sol, La me fa sol ! 

Musicians should have 
A pair of very good ears, 
And long fingers and thumbs, 
And not like clumsy bears. 
Fa me la sol, La me fa sol ! 

Gentlemen! Gentlemen! 
Rap! Rap! Rap! 
Fiddle! Fiddle! Fiddle! 
Clap! Clap! Clap! 
Fa me la sol, La me fa sol ! 
324 



FROM THE 'ROSSETTI MS/ 
I 

I WILL tell you what Joseph of Arimathea 
Said to my Fairy : was not it very queer ? 
* Pliny and Trajan ! What ! are you here ? 
Come before Joseph of Arimathea. 
Listen patient, and when Joseph has done 
'Twill make a Fool laugh, and a Fairy fun.' 

II 

THEN old Nobodaddy aloft 

Farted and belched and cough'd, 

And said ' I love hanging and drawing and quartering 

Every bit as well as war and slaughtering. 

Damn praying and singing, 

Unless they will bring in 

The blood often thousand by fighting or swinging/ 

Then he swore a great and solemn oath : 
'To kill the people I am loth; 
But if they rebel, they must go to hell: 
They shall have a Priest and a passing bell/ 



APPENDIX 

III 

WHEN Klopstock England defied, 
Uprose William Blake in his pride ; 
For old Nobodaddy aloft 
Farted and belch'd and cough'd ; 
Then swore a great oath that made Heaven quake, 
And call'd aloud to English Blake. 
Blake was giving his body ease, 
At Lambeth beneath the poplar trees. 
From his seat then started he 
And turn'd him round three times three. 
The moon at that sight blush'd scarlet red, 
The stars threw down their cups and fled, 
And all the devils that were in hell, 
Answered with a ninefold yell. 
Klopstock felt the intripled turn, 
And all his bowels began to churn, 
And his bowels turn'd round three times three, 
And lock'd in his soul with a ninefold key; . . . 
Then again old Nobodaddy swore 
He ne'er had seen such a thing before, 
Since Noah was shut in the ark, 
Since Eve first chose her hellfire spark, * 
Since 'twas the fashion to go naked, 
Since the old Anything was created. . . . 
326 



THE ROSSETTI MS. 



IV 

On the virginity of the Virgin Mary and Johanna Southcott 

WHATEVER is done to her she cannot know, 
And if you'll ask her she will swear it so. 
Whether 'tis good or evil none's to blame: 
No one can take the pride, no one the shame. 

V 

WHEN a Man has married a Wife, he finds out whether 
Her knees and elbows are only glued together. 

VI 

. . . AND in melodious accents I 
Will sit me down, and cry ' I ! I ! ' 

VII 

The Washerwoman's Song 

I WASH'D them out and wash'd them in, 
And they told me it was a great sin. 

327 



APPENDIX 



VIII 

WHEN you look at a picture, you always can see 

If a Man of Sense has painted he. 

Then never flinch, but keep up a jaw 

About freedom, and 'Jenny sink awaV 

As when it smells of the lamp, we can 

Say all was owing to the Skilful Man ; 

For the smell of water is but small : 

So e'en let Ignorance do it all. 



IX 

THESE verses were written by a very envious man, 
Who whatever likeness he may have to Michael Angelo 
Never can have any to Sir Jehoshuan. 



328 



FROM THE 'PICKERING MS/ 

,ong John Brown and Little Mary Bell 

C'TLE Mary Bell had a Fairy in a nut, 
Long John Brown had the Devil in his gut; 
Long John Brown lov'd little Mary Bell, 
And the Fairy drew the Devil into the nutshell. 

Her Fairy skip'd out and her Fairy skip'd in ; 
He laugh 'd at the Devil, saying 'Love is a Sin/ 
The Devil he raged, and the Devil he was wroth, 
And the Devil enter'd into the Young Man's broth. 

He was soon in the gut of the loving Young Swain, 
For John ate and drank to drive away Love's pain; 
But all he could do he grew thinner and thinner, 
Tho' he ate and drank as much as ten men for his dinner. 

Some said he had a Wolf in his stomach day and night, 
Some said he had the Devil, and they guess'd right; 
The Fairy skip'd about in his Glory, Joy and Pride, 
And he laugh'd at the Devil till poor John Brown died. 

Then the Fairy skip'd out of the old nutshell, 
And woe and alack for pretty Mary Bell ! 
For the Devil crept in when the Fairy skip'd out, 
And there goes Miss Bell with her fusty old nut. 

329 



INDEX OF FIRST LINES 



331 



INDEX OF FIRST LINES 

A Fairy leapt upon my knee page 162 

A flower was offer'd to me 120 

A little black thing among the snow 113 

A pair of Stays to mend the Shape 281 

A Petty Sneaking Knave I knew 261 

A strange Erratum in all the editions 276 

Abstinence sows sand all over 167 

Ah, Sunflower ! weary of time 121 
All Pictures that's painted with sense and with 

thought 283 

All the night in woe no 

An Old Maid early ere I knew 168 

And did those feet in ancient time 239 

And his legs carried it like a long fork 263 

And in melodious accents I 327 

Anger and Wrath my bosom rends 255 

Are not the joys of morning sweeter 155 

As I walk'd forth one May morning 319 

333 



INDEX OF FIRST LINES 

As I wander'd the forest 136 

As the ignorant Savage will sell his own Wife 269 

Awake, awake, my little Boy ! 202 

Call that the Public Voice which is their Error ! 283 

Can I see another's woe 99 

Can there be anything more mean 275 

Children of the Future Age 132 
Come hither, my boy, tell me what thou seest 

there 166 

Come hither, my Sparrows 138 

Come, Kings, and listen to my song 22 

Come knock your heads against this stone 286 

Cosway, Frazer, and Baldwin of Egypt's Lake 263 

Cr loves artists as he loves his Meat 260 

Cruelty has a human heart 103 

Dear Mother, dear Mother, the Church is cold 124 

Degrade first the Arts if you'd Mankind degrade 269 

Did Jesus teach doubt? or did He 304 

Do what you will this life's a fiction 173 

Does the Eagle know what is in the pit 174 

Each Man is in his Spectre's power 247 

Earth rais'd up her head 102 

England! awake! awake! awake! 231 
334 



INDEX OF FIRST LINES 

7 ather ! father ! where are you going? 83 

: or Fortune's favours you your riches bring 260 

: or this is being a Friend just in the nick 266 

7 ortune favours the Brave, old proverbs say 260 

; resh from the dewy hill, the merry year 19 

jive Pensions to the Learned Pig 274 

}olden Apollo, that thro* Heaven wide 28 

}reat Men and Fools do often me inspire 286 
ireat things are done when Men and 

Mountains meet 173 
}rown old in love from seven till seven times 

seven 173 

lail Matrimony, made of Love ! 320 

laving given great offence by writing in Prose 267 

le has observed the Golden Rule 28.5 

;Ie makes the Lame to walk, we all agree 281 
le's a Blockhead who wants a proof of what 

he can't perceive 285 

le who bends to himself a Joy 170 

lear the voice of the Bard ! 101 

lear then the pride and knowledge of a Sailor ! 318 

lere lies John Trot, the Friend of all Mankind 287 
lis whole Life is an Epigram smart, smooth 

and neatly pen'd 285 



INDEX OF FIRST LINES 

Honour and Genius is all I ask 
How can I help thy Husband's copying Me? 
How sweet I roam'd from field to field 
How sweet is the Shepherd's sweet lot ! 

I always take my judgment from a Fool 

I am no Homer's Hero you all know 

I am sure this Jesus will not do 

I asked a thief to steal me a peach 

I asked my dear friend Orator Prig 

I bless thee, O Father of Heaven and Earth 

that ever I saw Flaxman's face 
I dreamt a Dream ! what can it mean ? 
I fear'd the fury of my wind 
I found them blind : I taught them how to see 
I give you the end of a golden string 
I have no name 
I heard an Angel singing 
I laid me down upon a bank 
I love the jocund dance 
I love to rise in a summer morn 
I mock thee not, though I by thee am mocked 
I rose up at the dawn of day 
I, Rubens, am a Statesman and a Saint 
I saw a Chapel all of gold 
I saw a Monk of Charlemaine (Rossetti MS.) 

336 



INDEX OF FIRST LINES 

saw a Monk of Charlemaine (Jerusalem) 248 

travel'd thro* a Land of Men 196 

walked abroad on a snowy day 167 

wander thro' each chartered street 125 

was angry with my friend 129 

was buried near this dyke 286 

wash'd them out and wash'd them in 327 

went to the Garden of Love 123 

will tell you what Joseph of Arimathea 32,5 

wonder whether the Girls are mad 214 

write the Rascal thanks, till he and I 257 

If I e'er grow to Man's estate 172 

If it is true what the Prophets write 230 

If you have form'd a Circle to go into 174 

If you mean to please Everybody, you will 273 

If you play a Game of Chance, know, before 

you begin 253 

If you trap the moment before it's ripe 168 

In futurity 107 

In Heaven the only Art of Living 252 

Is this a holy thing to see 106 

Leave, O leave me to my sorrows 71 

Let the Brothels of Paris be opened 160 

Little Fly 116 

Little Lamb, who made thee ? 79 
z 337 



INDEX OF FIRST LINES 

Little Mary Bell had a Fairy in a nut 329 

Little Phoebus came strutting in 315 

Lo ! the Bat with leathern wing 318 

Love and Harmony combine 15 

Love seeketh not Itself to please 104 

Love to faults is always blind 166 

'Madman* I have been call'd: 'Fool' they call 

thee 262 

Memory, hither come 17 

Merry, Merry Sparrow ! 82 

Mock on, Mock on, Voltaire, Rousseau 223 

Mutual Forgiveness of each Vice 291 

. My mother bore me in the southern wild 80 
My mother groan'd, my father wept (Songs of 

Experience) 128 
My mother groan'd, my father wept (Rossetti 

MS.) ' 149 

My silks and fine array 14 

My Spectre around me night and day 219 

My title as a Genius thus is prov'd 2.57 

Nail his neck to the Cross: nail it with a nail 174 

Nature and Art in this together suit 280 

Never seek to tell thy love 141 

No real Style of Colouring ever appears 278 
338 



INDEX OF FIRST LINES 

Nought loves another as itself 130 

Now Art has lost its Mental Charms 284 

O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stained > 
O dear Mother Outline ! of wisdom most sage 270 

O for a voice like thunder, and a tongue 61 

O holy Virgin! clad in purest white 8 

O, I say, you Joe 323 

O lapwing! thou fliest around the heath 169 

O Reader, behold the Philosopher's grave! 279 

O Rose, thou art sick ! 115 

O sons of Trojan Brutus, cloth'd in war 58 

O thou who passest thro' our valleys in 4 

O thou with dewy locks, who lookest down 3 

O ! why was I born with a different face ? 190 

O Winter ! bar thine adamantine doors 6 

Of H 's birth this was the happy lot 236 

Once a dream did weave a shade 98 

P loved me not as he lov'd his friends 261 

Phebe drest like beauty's Queen 69 

Piping down the valleys wild 75 

Pity would be no more 126 

Prayers plow not: Praises reap not 175 

Prepare, prepare the iron helm of War 62 

Raphael, sublime, majestic, graceful, wise 281 
Z2 339 



INDEX OF FIRST LINES 

Reader! . . . of books . . . of Heaven 240 

Remove away that blackening church 171 

S , in Childhood, on the nursery floor 259 

Seeing this False Christ, in fury and passion 311 

Silent, silent Night 147 

Since all the Riches of this world 172 

Sir Joshua praised Rubens with a smile 274 

Sir Joshua praises Michael Angelo 273 

Sir Joshua sent his own Portrait to 277 

Sleep ! Sleep ! beauty bright 146 

Soft deceit and idleness 170 

Some look to see the sweet Outlines 274 

Some men, created for destruction, come 286 

Some people admire the work of a Fool 285 

Sound the Flute ! 94 

Such Visions have appear 'd to me 241 

Sweet dreams, form a shade 88 
Sweet Mary, the first time she ever was there 203 
Swelled limbs, with no outline that you can 

descry 279 

Terror in the house does roar 169 

That God is Colouring Newton does show 282 

The Angel that presided o'er my birth 173 

The bell struck one, and shook the silent tower 9 
340 



INDEX OF FIRST LINES 

The Catterpiller on the Leaf 292 

The Caverns of the Grave I've seen 234 

The countless gold of a merry heart 172 

The Cripple every step drudges and labours 272 

The Door of Death is made of Gold 235 

The fields from Islington to Marybone 242 
The Good are attracted by Men's perceptions 159 

The harvest shall flourish in wintry weather 168 

The little boy lost in the lonely fen 86 

The look of love alarms 170 

The Maiden caught me in the wild 206 

The modest Rose puts forth a thorn 122 

The only Man that e'er I knew 262 

The sun arises in the East 157 

The sun descending in the west 92 

The Sun does arise 77 

The Sun's Light, when he unfolds it 291 

The Sussex men are noted Fools 261 

The sword sung on the barren heath 169 

The Villain at the Gallows tree 278 

The Vision of Christ that thou dost see 297 

The wild winds weep 18 

Then old Nobodaddy aloft 32.5 

There is a smile of Love 193 

There's Doctor Clash 324 

There souls of men are bought and sold 166 



INDEX OF FIRST LINES 

These are the Idiots' chiefest arts 271 
These verses were written by a very envious man 328 

They said this mystery never shall cease 163 
This city and this country has brought forth 

many mayors 70 

This song to the flower of Flaxman's joy 180 

Thou Fair-hair'd Angel of the Evening 7 

Thou hast a lap full of seed 152 

Thou waterest him with Tears 292 

Three Virgins at the break of day 194 

Thy Friendship oft has made my heart to ake 2^6 

Till thou dost conquer the distrest 175 

To a lovely Myrtle bound 133 

To be or not to be 321 

To Chloe's breast young Cupid slyly stole 287 

To find the Western path 227 

To forgive Enemies H does pretend 256 

To Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love 90 

To my Friend Butts I write 181 

To see a World in a Grain of Sand 208 

Truly, my Satan, thou art but a Dunce 294 
'Twasona Holy Thursday, their innocent faces 

clean 91 

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright 118 

Venetian ! all thy Colouring is no more 282 
342 



INDEX OF FIRST LINES 

Want Matches ? 319 

Was I angry with Hayley who us'd me so ill 266 

Was Jesus born of a Virgin Pure 305 

Was Jesus Chaste ? or did He 307 

Was Jesus Gentle, or did He 298 

Was Jesus Humble? or did He 300 

Welcome, stranger, to this place 64 

What is it men in women do require? 171 

Whate'er is born of Mortal Birth 134 

Whate'er is done to her she cannot know 327 
When a Man has married a Wife, he finds out 

whether 327 

When early Morn walks forth in sober grey 20 
When France got free, Europe, 'twixt Fools 

and Knaves 287 

When H y finds out what you cannot do 2.56 

When I see a Rubens, Rembrandt, Correggio 273 

When Klopstock England defied 326 

When my mother died I was very young 83 

When Nations grow old, the Arts grow cold 271 

When Old Corruption first begun 316 

When silver snow decks Susan's clothes 31 

When silver snow decks Sylvio's clothes 65 

When Sir Joshua Reynolds died 278 
When the green woods laugh with the voice 

of joy 87 

343 



INDEX OF FIRST LINES 

When the voices of children are heard on the 

green (Songs of Innocence) 96 
When the voices of children are heard on the 

green (Songs of Experience) 114 

Whenyou look at a picture, you always can see 328 

Where thou dwellest, in what Grove 228 

Whether on Ida's shady brow 21 

Why art thou silent and invisible 154 

Why of the sheep do you not learn peace? 165 

Why should I care for the men of Thames 151 

Why was Cupid a Boy 231 

Wife of the Friend of those I most revere 183 

With Happiness stretch'd across the hills 186 
Wondrous the Gods, more wondrous are the 

Men 287 

You all your Youth observ'd the Golden Rule 238 

You call me Mad, 'tis folly to do so 2,57 

You don't believe I won't attempt to make ye 229 

You must agree that Rubens was a Fool 280 

You say reserve and modesty he has 259 

You say their Pictures well painted be 272 
You think Fuseli is not a Great Painter. I'm 

glad 262 

Youth of delight, come hither 137 



THESE POEMS BY WILLIAM BLAKE EDITED 

& ARRANGED WITH A PREFACE BY JOHN 

SAMPSON WERE PRINTED IN GREAT 

BRITAIN ATTHEFLORENCEPRESSFOR 

CHATTO & WINDUS & PUBLISHED 

BY THEM AT 97 ST. MARTIN'S 

LANE LONDON W.C. 

M -CM -XXI 



PLEASE DO NOT REMOVE 
CARDS OR SLIPS FROM THIS POCKET 

UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO LIBRARY