Songs of Innocence and Experience.
(1794)by William Blake. Songs of InnocenceIntroductionPiping down the valleys wildPiping songs of pleasant glee,On a cloud I saw a child,And he laughing said to me: Pipe a song about a Lamb:So I piped with merry chear.Piper, pipe that song again -So I piped: he wept to hear. Drop thy pipe, thy happy pipe,Sing thy songs of happy chear:So I sung the same again,While he wept with joy to hear. Piper, sit thee down and writeIn a book that all may read -So he vanish’d from my sightAnd I pluck’d a hollow reed, And I made a rural penAnd I stain’d the water clearAnd 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 dayAnd his tongue shall be filled 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 Ecchoing GreenThe Sun does ariseAnd make happy the skies,The merry bells ringTo welcome the Spring:The skylark and thrushThe birds of the bushSing louder aroundTo the bells’ chearful sound,While our sports shall be seenOn the Ecchoing Green. Old John with white hairDoes laugh away careSitting under the oakAmong the old folk.They laugh at our play,And soon they all say:Such, such were the joysWhen we all girls ; boys In our youth-time were seenOn the Ecchoing Green Till the little ones wearyNo more can be merry,The sun does descend,And our sports have an end:Round the laps of their mothersMany sisters and brothers,Like birds in their nest,Are ready for rest:And sport no more seenOn the darkening Green. The Lamb Little Lamb, who made thee?Dost thou know who made thee?Gave thee life ; bid thee feedBy the stream ; 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 nameFor he calls himself a Lamb.
He is meek & he is mild,He became a little child:I a child & thou a lamb,We are called by his name:Little Lamb god bless thee,Little Lamb god bless thee! The Little Black BoyMy 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 treeAnd 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 liveAnd gives his light, and gives his heat away:And flowers and trees and beasts and men receiveComfort 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 sunburnt faceIs but a cloud, and like a shady grove: For when our souls have learn’d the heat to bearThe 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, I’ll shade him from the heat, till he can bearTo 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. The Blossom Merry Merry SparrowUnder leaves so green,A happy BlossomSees you swift as arrowSeek your cradle narrowNear my Bosom.Pretty Pretty RobinUnder leaves so green,A happy BlossomHears you sobbing sobbingPretty Pretty RobinNear my Bosom.
The Chimney-Sweeper When my mother died I was very young,And my father sold me while yet my tongueCould scarcely cry weep weep! weep weep!’So your chimneys I sweep & in soot I sleep. There’s little Tom Dacre, who cried when his headThat curled like a lamb’s back, was shav’d, so