William Blake and His Famous Poems - William Blake was born at 28 Broad Street in Soho, London on 27 November 1757. His father James Blake was a hosier. He and his wife Catherine had 6 children. William Blake was a famous poet, painter and engraver of the late 18th century and early 19th century. Blake was a radical, anti authority figure.
In 1793 Blake published Visions of the Daughters of Albion. The same year, 1793 Blake published The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. Also in 1793 Blake published America, a Prophecy.
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.
Night and morning with my tears;
And I sunned it with smiles,
And with soft deceitful wiles.
Till it bore an apple bright.
And my foe beheld it shine.
And he knew that it was mine,
In the morning glad I see
My foe outstretched beneath the tree.
Tyger! Tyger! burning bright,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare sieze the fire?
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?
And water'd heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?
A Divine Image
Cruelty has a human heart,
And Jealousy a human face;
Terror the human form divine,
And Secresy the human dress.
The human form a fiery forge,
The human face a furnace sealed,
The human heart its hungry gorge.
A Cradle Song
Sweet dreams form a shade,
Sweet dreams of pleasant streams,
By happy silent moony beams
Weave thy brows an infant crown.
Sweet sleep Angel mild,
Hover o'er my happy child.
Hover over my delight.
Sweet smiles Mothers smiles,
All the livelong night beguiles.
Chase not slumber from thy eyes,
Sweet moans, sweeter smiles,
All the dovelike moans beguiles.
All creation slept and smil'd.
Sleep sleep, happy sleep.
While o'er thee thy mother weep
Holy image I can trace.
Sweet babe once like thee.
Thy maker lay and wept for me
When he was an infant small.
Thou his image ever see.
Heavenly face that smiles on thee,
Who became an infant small,
Infant smiles are His own smiles,
Heaven & earth to peace beguiles.
I dreamt a dream! What can it mean?
And that I was a maiden Queen
Guarded by an Angel mild:
Witless woe was ne'er beguiled!
And he wiped my tears away;
And I wept both day and night,
And hid from him my heart's delight.
Then the morn blushed rosy red.
I dried my tears, and armed my fears
With ten-thousand shields and spears.
I was armed, he came in vain;
For the time of youth was fled,
And grey hairs were on my head.
There is a Smile of Love
And there is a Smile of Smiles
In which these two Smiles meet
And there is a Frown of disdain
And there is a Frown of Frowns
Which you strive to forget in vain
And it sticks in the deep Back bone
And no Smile that ever was smild
But only one Smile alone
It only once Smild can be
But when it once is Smild
Theres an end to all Misery
Silent, Silent Night
Silent, silent night,
Of thy torches bright;
Thousand spirits stray
That sweet joys betray.
Used with deceit,
Nor with sorrows meet?
Does itself destroy
For a harlot coy.
The Little Boy Lost
'Father, father, where are you going?
Oh do not walk so fast!
Speak, father, speak to you little boy,
Or else I shall be lost.'
The child was wet with dew;
The mire was deep, and the child did weep,
And away the vapour flew.
O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stainèd
Beneath my shady roof; there thou may'st rest,
And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe,
And all the daughters of the year shall dance!
Sing now the lusty song of fruits and flowers.
The sun, and love runs in her thrilling veins;
Blossoms hang round the brows of Morning, and
Flourish down the bright cheek of modest Eve,
Till clust'ring Summer breaks forth into singing,
And feather'd clouds strew flowers round her head.
Of fruit; and Joy, with pinions light, roves round
The gardens, or sits singing in the trees.'
Thus sang the jolly Autumn as he sat;
hen rose, girded himself, and o'er the bleak
Hills fled from our sight; but left his golden load.
The Land of Dreams
Awake, awake, my little boy!
Why dost thou weep in thy gentle sleep?
Awake! thy father does thee keep.
What are its mountains, and what are its streams?
O father! I saw my mother there,
Among the lilies by waters fair.
She walk'd with her Thomas in sweet delight.
I wept for joy, like a dove I mourn;
O! when shall I again return? '
Have wander'd all night in the Land of Dreams;
But tho' calm and warm the waters wide,
I could not get to the other side.
In this land of unbelief and fear?
The Land of Dreams is better far
Above the light of the morning star.'