To the Evening Star


William Blake (1757–1827). Thou fair-hair’d angel of the evening, Now, whilst the sun rests on the mountains, light Thy bright torch of love; thy radiant crown Put on, and smile upon our evening bed! Smile on our loves, and while thou drawest the Blue curtains of the sky, scatter thy silver dew On every flower that shuts its sweet eyes In timely sleep. Let thy west wind sleep on The lake; speak...

Lines written upon coming into Sight of the Coast of Scotland


Land of my fathers! to thy sacred shoreI come in sorrow from the stranger’s hill,Unlike my sires, who, in days of yore,Thou cherished aye, and loved to honour still.Scaithed by relentless fate with many an ill,A wanderer I come, and hailed by none.It was not so my fathers sought thy sill.O mother! rise, behold thy hapless son,And toward him spread thine arms from out thy mountains dun. Land...

Hope And Despair


Said God, “You sisters, ere ye go Down among men, my work to do, I will on each a badge bestow: Hope I love best, and gold for her, Yet a silver glory for Despair, For she is my angel too.” Then like a queen, Despair Put on the stars to wear. But Hope took ears of corn, and round Her temples in a wreath them bound. Which think ye lookt the more fair? Lascelles Abercrombie  (9 January...

Fair Elenor


William Blake (1757–1827).  THE BELL struck one, and shook the silent tower; The graves give up their dead: fair Elenor Walk’d by the castle gate, and lookèd in. A hollow groan ran thro’ the dreary vaults. She shriek’d aloud, and sunk upon the steps,         On the cold stone her pale cheeks. Sickly smells Of death issue as from a sepulchre, And all is silent but the...

Song: My silks and fine array


William Blake (1757–1827). My silks and fine array, My smiles and languish’d air, By love are driv’n away; And mournful lean Despair Brings me yew to deck my grave; Such end true lovers have. His face is fair as heav’n When springing buds unfold; O why to him was ’t giv’n Whose heart is wintry cold? His breast is love’s all-worshipp’d tomb, Where all love’s pilgrims come. Bring me an axe and...

A War Song to Englishmen


William Blake (1757–1827). Prepare, prepare the iron helm of war, Bring forth the lots, cast in the spacious orb; Th’ Angel of Fate turns them with mighty hands, And casts them out upon the darken’d earth!                     Prepare, prepare!         Prepare your hearts for Death’s cold hand! prepare Your souls for flight...

St. Anthony’s Sermon To The Fishes


Saint Anthony at church Was left in the lurch, So he went to the ditches And preached to the fishes. They wriggled their tails, In the sun glanced their scales. The carps, with their spawn, Are all thither drawn; Have opened their jaws, Eager for each clause. No sermon beside Had the carps so edified. Sharp-snouted pikes, Who keep fighting like tikes, Now swam up harmonious To hear Saint Antonius...

To the Muses


WHETHER on Ida’s shady brow, Or in the chambers of the East, The chambers of the sun, that now From ancient melody have ceas’d; Whether in Heaven ye wander fair,         Or the green corners of the earth, Or the blue regions of the air Where the melodious winds have birth; Whether on crystal rocks ye rove, Beneath the bosom of the sea         Wand’ring in...



Our lives, discoloured with our present woes,
May still grow white and shine with happier hours.
So the pure limped stream, when foul with stains
Of rushing torrents and descending rains,
Works itself clear, and as it runs refines,
till by degrees the floating mirror shines;
Reflects each flower that on the border grows,
And a new heaven in it’s fair bosom shows.
(Joseph Addison)

Ah! Sun-Flower


William Blake (1757–1827).
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.