Sunday, October 7, 2007

William Blake

I've just finished reading Burning Bright by Tracy Chevalier. It takes place in London in the years at the beginning of the French Revolution (1789+) when William Blake defied the English monarchy and wrote his Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience.

Here are two poems representing each of the themes.
Click on the music sampler to hear a sample of the songs.

If you click on the main title William Blake you can visit old Lambeth.



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, wooly, 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!

Now the innocence of the lamb is replaced by the experience of the tyger

THE TYGER (from Songs Of Experience)

By William Blake

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare sieze the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art.
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?


He lived in London near Lambeth Palace, home of the Archbishop of Canterbury on the River Thames.


The Lindahl News said...

You inspired me to read more about William Blake! I learned a lot.
It's always fun to check your blog to see what...or WHO you will write about next!

Now excuse me...I must go tune in to The Bachelor. Will discuss later!

Spirit Bear said...

Now you can read more, because I finally finished my post!

The Lindahl News said...

You are amazing!!!!!!!!Now I'll have to add another book to my already lengthy reading list!

Katie said...

Hey I just read poems of William Blake's in my English class last year! It definitely was interesting and we compare and contrasted Songs of Innocence and Experience.