1 William Blake( ) SONGS OF INNOCENCE 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 bereaved of light. My mother taught me underneath a tree, And, sitting down before the heat of day, She took me on her lap and kissèd 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 and trees and beasts and men receive Comfort in morning, joy in the noonday. And we are put on earth a little space, THE CHIMNEY-SWEEPER 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, and in soot I sleep. There s little Tom Dacre, who cried when his head, That curled like a lamb s back, was shaved; 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, and that very night, As Tom was a-sleeping, he had such a sight! That thousands of sweepers, Dick, Joe, Ned, and Jack, That we may learn to bear the beams of love; And these black bodies and this sunburnt face Are but a cloud, and like a shady grove. For, when our souls have learned the heat to bear, The cloud will vanish, we shall hear His voice, Saying, Come out from the grove, my love and 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 bear To 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 Were all of them locked up in coffins of black. And by came an angel, who had a bright key, And he opened the coffins, and set them all free; Then down a green plain, leaping, laughing, they run And wash in a river, and shine in the sun. Then naked and white, all their bags left behind, They rise upon 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, and never want joy. And so Tom awoke, and we rose in the dark, And got with our bags and our brushes to work. Though the morning was cold, Tom was happy and warm: So, if all do their duty, they need not fear harm.
2 ON ANOTHER S SORROW Can I see another s woe, And not be in sorrow too? Can I see another s grief, And not seek for kind relief? Can I see a falling tear, And not feel my sorrow s share? Can a father see his child Weep, nor be with sorrow filled? 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 with sorrows small, Hear the small bird s grief and 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 infant s tear? And not sit both night and 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 and gone He doth sit by us and moan. SONGS OF EXPERIENCE THE CHIMNEY SWEEPER A little black thing among the snow, Crying! weep! weep! in notes of woe! Where are thy father and mother? Say! They are both gone up to the church to pray. Because I was happy upon the heath, And smiled among the winter s snow, They clothed me in the clothes of death, And taught me to sing the notes of woe. And because I am happy and dance and sing, They think they have done me no injury, And are gone to praise God and His priest and king, Who made up a heaven of our misery.
3 THE FLY Little Fly, Thy summer s play My thoughtless hand Has brushed away. Am not I A fly like thee? Or art not thou A man like me? For I dance, And drink, and sing, Till some blind hand Shall brush my wing. If thought is life And strength and breath, And the want Of thought is death; Then am I A happy fly. If I live, Or if I die. MY PRETTY ROSE TREE A flower was offered to me, Such a flower as May never bore; But I said, I ve a pretty rose tree, And I passed the sweet flower o er. Then I went to my pretty rose tree, To tend her by day and by night; But my rose turned away with jealousy, And her thorns were my only delight. A POISON TREE I was angry with my friend: I told my wrath, my wrath did end. I was angry with my foe: I told it not, my wrath did grow. And I watered it in fears Night and morning with my tears, And I sunnèd it with smiles And with soft deceitful wiles. And it grew both day and night, Till it bore an apple bright, And my foe beheld it shine, And he knew that it was mine, And into my garden stole When the night had veiled the pole; In the morning, glad, I see My foe outstretched beneath the tree.
4 I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud William Wordsworth ( ) I wandered lonely as a Cloud That floats on high o er Vales and Hills, When all at once I saw a crowd, A host of golden Daffodils; Beside the Lake, beneath the trees, Fluttering and dancing in the breeze. Continuous as the stars that shine And twinkle on the Milky Way, They stretched in never-ending line Along the margin of a bay: Ten thousand saw I at a glance, Tossing their heads in sprightly dance. The waves beside them danced, but they Out-did the sparkling waves in glee: A Poet could not but be gay In such a jocund company: I gazed and gazed but little thought What wealth the shew to me had brought: For oft when on my couch I lie In vacant or in pensive mood, They flash upon that inward eye Which is the bliss of solitude, And then my heart with pleasure fills, And dances with the Daffodils. Lines Written in Early Spring I heard a thousand blended notes, While in a grove I sate reclined, In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts Bring sad thoughts to the mind. To her fair works did nature link The human soul that through me ran; And much it grieved my heart to think What man has made of man. Through primrose tufts, in that sweet bower, The periwinkle trailed its wreaths; And tis my faith that every flower Enjoys the air it breathes. The birds around me hopped and played: Their thoughts I cannot measure, But the least motion which they made, It seemed a thrill of pleasure. The budding twigs spread out their fan, To catch the breezy air; And I must think, do all I can, That there was pleasure there. If this belief from heaven be sent, If such be Nature s holy plan, Have I not reason to lament What man has made of man? The World is Too Much With Us The world is too much with us; late and soon, Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers; Little we see in Nature that is ours; We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon! This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon; The winds that will be howling at all hours, And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers, For this, for everything, we are out of tune; It moves us not. Great God! I d rather be A pagan suckled in a creed outworn; So might I, standing on this pleasant lea, Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn; Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea; Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn
5 When I Have Fears That I May Cease to Be John Keats ( ) When I have fears that I may cease to be Before my pen has glean d my teeming brain, Before high piled books, in charact ry, Hold like rich garners the full-ripen d grain; When I behold, upon the night s starr d face, Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance, And think that I may never live to trace Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance; And when I feel, fair creature of an hour! That I shall never look upon thee more, Never have relish in the faery power Of unreflecting love! then on the shore Of the wide world I stand alone, and think Till Love and Fame to nothingness do sink. When We Two Parted George Gordon (Lord Byron) ( ) When we two parted In silence and tears, Half broken-hearted To sever for years, Pale grew thy cheek and cold, Colder thy kiss; Truly that hour foretold Sorrow to this. The dew of the morning Sunk chill on my brow-- It felt like the warning Of what I feel now. Thy vows are all broken, And light is thy fame; I hear thy name spoken, And share in its shame. They name thee before me, A knell to mine ear; A shudder comes o er me-- Why wert thou so dear? They know not I knew thee, Who knew thee too well-- Long, long shall I rue thee, Too deeply to tell. In secret we met-- In silence I grieve, That thy heart could forget, Thy spirit deceive. If I should meet thee After long years, How should I greet thee?-- With silence and tears.
6 Ah, Are you Digging on my Grave? Thomas Hardy ( ) Ah, are you digging on my grave My loved one?--planting rue?" --"No; yesterday he went to wed One of the brightest wealth has bred. 'It cannot hurt her now,' he said, That I 'should not be true.'" Then who is digging on my grave? My nearest dearest kin?" --"Ah, no; they sit and think, 'What use! What good will planting flowers produce? No tendance of her mound can loose Her spirit from Death's gin.'" But someone digs upon my grave? My enemy?--prodding sly?" --"Nay; when she heard you had passed the Gate That shuts on all flesh soon or late, She thought you no more worth her hate, And cares not where you lie." Then, who is digging on my grave? Say--since I have not guessed!" --"0 it is I, my mistress dear, Your little dog, who still lives near, And much I hope my movements here Have not disturbed your rest?" Ah, yes! You dig upon my grave... Why flashed it not on me That one true heart was left behind! What feeling do we ever find To equal among humankind A dog's fidelity!" Mistress, I dug upon your grave To bury a bone, in case I should be hungry near this spot When passing on my daily trot. I am sorry, but I quite forgot It was your resting-place." When I Was One-and-Twenty A.E. Houseman ( ) When I was one-and-twenty I heard a wise man say, "Give crowns and pounds and guineas But not your heart away; Give pearls away and rubies But keep your fancy free." But I was one-and-twenty, No use to talk to me. When I was one-and-twenty I heard him say again, "The heart out of the bosom Was never given in vain; 'Tis paid with sighs a plenty And sold for endless rue." And I am two-and-twenty, And oh, 'tis true, 'tis true.
7 Porphyria's Lover ROBERT BROWNING ( ) The rain set early in to-night, The sullen wind was soon awake, It tore the elm-tops down for spite, And did its worst to vex the lake: I listened with heart fit to break. When glided in Porphyria; straight She shut the cold out and the storm, And kneeled and made the cheerless grate Blaze up, and all the cottage warm; Which done, she rose, and from her form Withdrew the dripping cloak and shawl, And laid her soiled gloves by, untied Her hat and let the damp hair fall, And, last, she sat down by my side And called me. When no voice replied, She put my arm about her waist, And made her smooth white shoulder bare, And all her yellow hair displaced, And, stooping, made my cheek lie there, And spread, o'er all, her yellow hair, Murmuring how she loved me she Too weak, for all her heart's endeavor, To set its struggling passion free From pride, and vainer ties dissever, And give herself to me for ever. But passion sometimes would prevail, Nor could to-night's gay feast restrain A sudden thought of one so pale For love of her, and all in vain: So, she was come through wind and rain. Be sure I looked up at her eyes Happy and proud; at last I knew Porphyria worshipped me; surprise Made my heart swell, and still it grew While I debated what to do. That moment she was mine, mine, fair, Perfectly pure and good: I found A thing to do, and all her hair In one long yellow string I wound Three times her little throat around, And strangled her. No pain felt she; I am quite sure she felt no pain. As a shut bud that holds a bee, I warily oped her lids: again; Laughed the blue eyes without a stain. And I untightened next the tress About her neck; her cheek once more Blushed bright beneath my burning kiss: I propped her head up as before, Only, this time my shoulder bore Her head, which droops upon it still: The smiling rosy little head, So glad it has its utmost will, That all it scorned at once is fled, And I, its love, am gained instead! Porphyria's love: she guessed not how Her darling one wish would be heard. And thus we sit together now, And all night long we have not stirred, And yet God has not said a word!