Songs of Innocence & Songs of Experience - William Blake - ebook
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In this collection of poems, Blake contrasts Songs of Innocence, in which he shows how the human spirit blossoms when allowed its own free movement with Songs of Experience, in which he shows how the human spirit withers after it has been suppressed and forced to conform to rules, and doctrines. In fact, Blake was an English Dissenter and actively opposed the doctrines of the Anglican Church, which tells its members to suppress their feelings. Blake showed how he believed this was wrong through his poems in Songs of Experience.

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SONGS OF INNOCENCE & SONGS OF EXPERIENCE

William Blake

ENDYMION PRESS

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All rights reserved. Aside from brief quotations for media coverage and reviews, no part of this book may be reproduced or distributed in any form without the author’s permission. Thank you for supporting authors and a diverse, creative culture by purchasing this book and complying with copyright laws.

Copyright © 2016 by William Blake

Interior design by Pronoun

Distribution by Pronoun

TABLE OF CONTENTS

SONGS OF INNOCENCE

INTRODUCTION

THE SHEPHERD

THE ECHOING GREEN

THE LAMB

THE LITTLE BLACK BOY

THE BLOSSOM

THE CHIMNEY-SWEEPER

THE LITTLE BOY LOST

THE LITTLE BOY FOUND

LAUGHING SONG

A CRADLE SONG

THE DIVINE IMAGE

HOLY THURSDAY

NIGHT

SPRING

NURSE’S SONG

INFANT JOY

A DREAM

ON ANOTHER’S SORROW

SONGS OF EXPERIENCE

INTRODUCTION

EARTH’S ANSWER

THE CLOD AND THE PEBBLE

HOLY THURSDAY

THE LITTLE GIRL LOST

THE LITTLE GIRL FOUND

THE CHIMNEY-SWEEPER

NURSE’S SONG

THE SICK ROSE

THE FLY

THE ANGEL

THE TIGER

MY PRETTY ROSE TREE

AH, SUNFLOWER

THE LILY

THE GARDEN OF LOVE

THE LITTLE VAGABOND

LONDON

THE HUMAN ABSTRACT

INFANT SORROW

A POISON TREE

A LITTLE BOY LOST

A LITTLE GIRL LOST

A DIVINE IMAGE

A CRADLE SONG

THE SCHOOLBOY

TO TIRZAH

THE VOICE OF THE ANCIENT BARD

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 cheer.

‘Piper, pipe that song again.’

So I piped: he wept to hear.

‘Drop thy pipe, thy happy pipe;

Sing thy songs of happy cheer!’

So I sung the same again,

While he wept with joy to hear.

‘Piper, sit thee down and write

In a book, that all may read.’

So he vanished from my sight;

And I plucked a hollow reed,

And I made a rural pen,

And I stained the water clear,

And I wrote my happy songs

Every child may joy to hear.

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 fillèd with praise.

For he hears the lambs’ innocent call,

And he hears the ewes’ tender reply;

He is watchful while they are in peace,

For they know when their shepherd is nigh.

THE ECHOING GREEN

~

The 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’ cheerful sound;

While our sports shall be seen

On the echoing 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 echoing green.’

Till the little ones, weary,

No more can be merry: