Comparison and Contrast of William Blake\'s Poems




Comparison and Contrast of William Blake\'s Poems


Introduction (Innocence)

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 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 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.



Introduction (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."



The Chimney Sweeper (Innocence)

When my mother died I was very young,
And my father sold me while yet my tongue
Could scarcely cry "\'weep! \'weep! \'weep! \'weep!"
So your chimneys I sweep & 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 & that very night,
As Tom was a-sleeping , he had such a sight!
That thousands of sweepers, Dick, Joe, Ned & 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 & set them free;
The down a green plain leaping, laughing, they run,
And wash in a river, and shine in the Sun.

Then naked & white, all their bags left behind,
They rise upon the 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 & never want joy.

And so Tom awoke; and we rose in the dark,
And got with our bags & 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.



The Chimney Sweeper (Experience)

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 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."



Infant Joy (Innocence)

"I have no name:
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!



Infant Sorrow (Experience)

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.



The best-known work of the English poet and artist William Blake, Songs
of Innocence and of Experience employs the mediums of poetry and colored
engraving in a series of visionary poems "shewing the two contrary states of the
human soul." Songs of Innocence (1789) was followed by Songs of Experience
(1794), and