Poems of William Blake

Poems of William Blake

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INTRODUCTION

   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 cheer.   "Piper, pipe that song again;"     So I piped: he wept to hear.

   "Drop thy pipe, thy happy pipe;     Sing thy songs of happy cheer!"   So I sang 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.

THE SHEPHERD

   How sweet is the Shepherd's sweet lot!   From the morn to the evening he stays;   He shall follow his sheep all the day,   And his tongue shall be filled with praise.

   For he hears the lambs' innocent call,   And he hears the ewes' tender reply;   He is watching while they are in peace,   For they know when their Shepherd is nigh.

THE ECHOING GREEN

   The sun does arise,   And make happy the skies;   The merry bells ring   To welcome the Spring;   The skylark and thrush,   The birds of the bush,   Sing louder around   To the bells' cheerful sound;   While our sports shall be seen   On the echoing 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 and boys—   In our youth-time were seen   On the echoing 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 LAMB

     Little Lamb, who made thee     Dost thou know who made thee,   Gave thee life, and bid thee feed   By the stream and 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 name,   For He calls Himself a Lamb   He is meek, and He is mild,   He became a little child.   I a child, and thou a lamb,   We are called by His name.     Little Lamb, God bless thee!     Little Lamb, God bless thee!

THE LITTLE BLACK BOY

   My mother bore me in the southern wild,     And I am black, but oh my soul is white!   White as an angel is the English child,     But I am black, as if bereaved of light....