William Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience


Songs of Innocence


The Ecchoing Green The sun does arise, And mark happy the skies. The merry bells ring. To welcome the Spring. The sky-lark 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 & boys, In our youth time were seen, On the Ecchoing Green. 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.
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 trees and beasts and men recieve Comfort in morning joy in the noon day. 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 sun-burnt 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 & care, And round my golden tent like lambs rejoice. 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: Ill shade him from the heat till he can bear, To lean in joy upon our fathers knee. And then I'll stand and stroke his silver hair, And be like him and he will then love me.
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 & Pity dwell, There God is dwelling too.
On Anothers Sorrow Can I see anothers woe, And not be in sorrow too. Can I see anothers grief, And not seek for kind relief. Can I see a falling tear, And not feel my sorrows 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 witch sorrows small, Hear the small birds grief & 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 infants tear. And not sit both night & 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 & gone He doth sit by us and moan

Songs of Experience

[Songs of Innocence]      [Top of the Page]      [Songs of Experience]