William Blake (1757-1827). Born in London to an obscure family,
Blake was educated at home until he was ten, then enrolled in a drawing
school, advancing ultimately to a formal apprenticeship as an engraver. At
an early age, Blake exhibited talent as both an artist and a poet, and
throughout his life read widely among modern philosophers and poets.
Throughout his life,
he experienced mystical visions that provided him with the inspiration for
many of his poems. Blake devised a process he called illuminated printing,
which involved the preparation of drawings and decorative frames to
complement his poems. He published Songs of Innocence (1789) and Songs of Experience (1794) in this fashion. These books, as well as
the many subsequent works he wrote and illustrated, earned him a
reputation as one of the most important artists of his day.
Many of Blake's
works assert his conviction that the established church and state hinder
rather than nurture human freedom and the sense of divine love.
برگزیده ای از کتاب زیر تقدیم می گردد:
SONGS OF EXPERIENCE
Hear the voice of the Bard!
Who Present, Past, & Future sees;
Whose ears have heard
The Holy Word
That walk'd among the ancient trees,
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.''
Earth raised up her head
From the darkness dread & drear.
Her light fled,
And her locks cover'd with grey despair.
``Prison'd on wat'ry shore,
Starry Jealousy does keep my den:
Cold and hoar,
I hear the father of the ancient men.
``Selfish father of men!
Cruel, jealous, selfish fear!
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?
``Break this heavy chain
That does freeze my bones around.
That free Love with bondage bound.''
``Love seeketh not Itself to please,
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.''
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 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 & bare,
And their ways are fill'd with thorns:
It is eternal winter there.
For where-e'er the sun does shine,
And were-e'er the rain does fall,
Babe can never hunger there,
Nor poverty the mind appall.
I prophetic see
That the earth from sleep
(Grave the sentence deep)
Shall arise and seek
For her maker meek;
And in 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?
``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 gamboll'd round
O'er the hollow'd ground.
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.
All the night in woe
Lyca's parents go
Over vallies 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 the 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.
Rising from unrest,
The trembling woman prest
With feet of weary woe:
She could no further go.
In his arms he bore
Her, arm's 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.
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 the tygers wild.
To this day they dwell
In a lonely dell;
Nor fear the wolvish howl
Nor the lion's growl.
A little black thing among the snow,
Crying ``'weep! 'weep!'' in notes of woe!
``Where are thy father & 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 & dance & sing,
They think they have done me no injury,
And are gone to praise God & his Priest & King,
Who make up a heaven of our misery.''
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 & your day are wasted in play,
And your winter and night in disguise.
- 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.
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, & sing,
Till some blind hand
Shall brush my wing.
If thought is life,
And strength & breath,
And the want
Of thought is death;
Then am I
A happy fly,
If I live
or if I die.
I dreamt a Dream! what can it mean!
And that I was a maiden Queen,
Guarded by an Angel mild:
Witless woe was ne'er beguil'd!
And I wept both night and day,
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, & 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.
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 sieze the fire?
And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & 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?
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?
A flower was offer'd to me,
Such a flower as May never bore;
But I said ``I've a Pretty Rose-tree,''
And I passed the sweet flower o'er.
Then I went to my Pretty Rose-tree,
To tend her by day and by night;
But my Rose turn'd away with jealousy,
And her thorns were my only delight.
Ah, Sun-flower! 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 Sun-flower wishes to go.
- The 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.
- I went to the Garden of Love,
- And saw what I never had seen:
- A Chapel was built in the midst,
- Where I used to play on the green.
- And the gates of this Chapel were shut,
- And ``Thou shalt not'' writ over the door;
- So I turn'd to the Garden of Love
- That so many sweet flowers bore;
- And I saw it was filled with graves,
- And tomb-stones where flowers should be;
- And Priests in black gowns were walking their rounds,
- And binding with briars my joys & desires.
- Dear Mother, dear Mother, the Church is cold,
- But the Ale-house is healthy & pleasant & 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 live-long day,
- Nor ever once wish from the Church to stray.
- Then the Parson might preach, & drink, & sing,
- And we'd be as happy as birds in the spring;
- 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, & give him both drink and apparel.
- 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-sweepers 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.
- 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 grounds 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 & 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 outstretch'd beneath the tree.
- ``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 siez'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.''
- 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?
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,
- Fill'd with softest care,
- Met in garden bright
- Where the holy light
- Had just remov'd the curtains of night.
- There, in rising day,
- On the grass they play;
- Parents were afar,
- Strangers came not near,
- And the maiden soon forgot her fear.
- 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.''
- Whate'er is Born of Mortal Birth
- Must be consumed with the Earth
- To rise from Generation free:
- Then what have I to do with thee?
- The Sexes sprung from Shame & Pride,
- Blow'd in the morn, in evening died;
- But Mercy chang'd Death into Sleep;
- The Sexes rose to work & weep.
- Thou, Mother of my Mortal part,
- With cruelty didst mould my Heart,
- And with false self-deceiving tears
- Didst bind my Nostrils, Eyes, & Ears:
- Didst close my Tongue in senseless clay,
- And me to Mortal Life betray.
- The Death of Jesus set me free:
- Then what have I to do with thee?
- I love to rise in a summer morn
- When the birds sing on every tree;
- The distant huntsman winds his horn,
- And the sky-lark sings with me.
- O! what sweet company.
- 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?
- O! father & mother, if buds are nip'd
- And blossoms blown away,
- And if the tender plants are strip'd
- Of their joy in the springing day,
- By sorrow and 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?
- Youth of delight, come hither,
- And see the opening morn,
- Image of truth new born.
- Doubt is fled, & clouds of reason,
- Dark disputes & artful teazing.
- 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.
- Cruelty has a Human Heart,
- And Jealousy a Human Face;
- Terror the Human Form Divine,
- And Secrecy the Human Dress.
- The Human Dress is forged Iron,
- The Human Form a fiery Forge,
- The Human Face a Furnace seal'd,
- The Human Heart is hungry Gorge
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