18th Century British Literature and Religion ~ 1st Generation

by PammyMcB

Purpose of art:

  • Expand your mind
  • Give you insight and knowledge about things you would not already know about
  • Express feelings and desires
  • Describe the culture
  • Make people think about controversial issues
  • All can be grouped under 2 basic functions
    • Reflect society
    • Change society
  • Romantic poets are all about changing society. Changing something they hate. It is essential to know what they are trying to change.
  • Paradigm
    • interested in changing society’s paradigm
    • lens through which you view the world
    • priorities
    • change their society
      • Paradigm {Mystical / Rational} = Lens
  • Mystical way of viewing the world and the rational way of viewing the world
  • Romantics are living in an extremely rational society.
    • 18th Century
      • Age of Reason
        • Romantics are tying to swing the pendulum back to the mystical paradigm.

…but first…

14th Century

  • Time of Chaucer
  • The little ice age started.
  • War
    • 100 Years War (with France)
  • Disease
    • Bubonic Plague (Black Death)
  • Mystical paradigm
    • If bad or good things happen, you had it coming.
  • The little optimum before the little ice age – 10th-13th Centuries
  • War
    • constant drain on the economy
    • Britain lost.
  • Crops are failing.

  • Peasants are dying because they live with the rats.
    • Good people are dying,
    • so they re-evaluated their mystical paradigm.
    • Peasants gained power.
  • Church seized properties, or all people dying because they all must be sinners.
  • People started thinking logically.
    • Plague must be contagious.
    • switch to the rational paradigm
    • renaissance
    • Things are good.

17th Century

  • War and disease
  • Civil War
  • Cromwell chased Puritans out of Britain.
  • Black Death is back, 1665.
  • Nursery rhyme: “Ring around the rosy / pocket full of posy / ashes, ashes / we all fall down”
  • Fire of 1666
  • 1688: Glorious Revolution
    • called that because it was a bloodless revolution
    • Parliament institutes the Glorious Revolution.
    • William and Mary took over.
    • James II ran.
    • Mary was James II daughter.
    • This was the beginning of the age of reason because when they came to the throne, all of the problems seemed to melt away.
      • Life becomes good again in the 18th century partly from legislation passed.
      • partly from mere coincidence

…and finally…

18th Century

  • French Revolution – 1789
    • No planning, no structure
    • no formal training, just raw emotion
    • A couple of hundred peasants overthrew the French system in one day.
  • Rational
    • reason over emotion
  • Establishment is a machine that says what is right, and emotion is not right.

Blake

  • Blake had written his own bible.
    • his own mythology
  • Blake felt that humans have no control.
  • Songs of Experience
  • “Introduction”

Hear the voice of the Bard!
Who Present, Past, & Future sees;
Whose ears have heard
The Holy Word
That walk’d among the ancient trees,
Calling the lapsed Soul,
And weeping in the evening dew;
That might controll
The starry pole,
And fallen, fallen light renew!
“O Earth, O Earth, return!
Arise from out the dewy grass;
Night is worn,
And the morn
Rises from the slumberous mass.
“Turn away no more;
Why wilt thou turn away?
The starry floor,
The wat’ry shore,
Is giv’n thee till the break of day.”

~ –oOo– ~

“Earth’s Answer”

Earth raised up her head
From the darkness dread & drear.
Her light fled,
Stony dread!
And her locks cover’d with grey despair.

“Prison’d on wat’ry shore,
Starry Jealousy does keep my den:
Cold and hoar,
Weeping o’er,
I hear the father of the ancient men.

“Selfish father of men!
Cruel, jealous, selfish fear!
Can delight,
Chain’d in night,
The virgins of youth and morning bear?

“Does spring hide its joy
When buds and blossoms grow?
Does the sower
Sow by night,
Or the plowman in darkness plow?

“Break this heavy chain
That does freeze my bones around.
Selfish! vain!
Eternal bane!
That free Love with bondage bound.”

~ –oOo– ~

“The Clod and the Pebble”

“Love seeketh not Itself to please,
Nor for itself hath any care,
But for another gives its ease,
And builds a Heaven in Hell’s despair.”

So sung a little Clod of Clay
Trodden with the cattle’s feet,
But a Pebble of the brook
Warbled out these metres meet:

“Love seeketh only Self to please,
To bind another to Its delight,
Joys in another’s loss of ease,
And builds a Hell in Heaven’s despite.”

~ –oOo– ~

“Holy Thursday”

Is this a holy thing to see
In a rich and fruitful land,
Babes reduc’d to misery,
Fed with cold and usurous hand?

Is that trembling cry a song?
Can it be song of joy?
And so many children poor?
It is a land of poverty!

And their sun does never shine,
And their fields are bleak & bare,
And their ways are fill’d with thorns:
It is eternal winter there.

For where-e’er the sun does shine,
And were-e’er the rain does fall,
Babe can never hunger there,
Nor poverty the mind appall.

~ –oOo– ~

“The Little Girl Lost”

In futurity
I prophetic see
That the earth from sleep
(Grave the sentence deep)

Shall arise and seek
For her maker meek;
And in the desart wild
Become a garden mild.

* * *

In the southern clime,
Where the summer’s prime
Never fades away,
Lovely Lyca lay.

Seven summers old
Lovely Lyca told;
She had wander’d long
Hearing wild birds’ song.

“Sweet sleep, come to me
Underneath this tree.
Do father, mother weep,
Where can Lyca sleep?

“Lost in desart wild
Is your little child.
How can Lyca sleep
If her mother weep?

“If her heart does ake
Then let Lyca wake;
If my mother sleep,
Lyca shall not weep.

“Frowning, frowning night,
O’er this desart bright
Let thy moon arise
While I close my eyes.”

Sleeping Lyca lay
While the beasts of prey,
Come from caverns deep,
View’d the maid asleep.

The kingly lion stood
And the virgin view’d,
Then he gamboll’d round
O’er the hollow’d ground.

Leopards, tygers, play
Round her as she lay,
While the lion old
Bow’d his mane of gold.

And her bosom lick,
And upon her neck
From his eyes of flame
Ruby tears there came;

While the lioness
Loos’d her slender dress,
And naked they convey’d
To caves the sleeping maid.

~ –oOo– ~

“The Little Girl Found”

All the night in woe
Lyca’s parents go
Over vallies deep,
While the desarts weep.

Tired and woe-begone,
Hoarse with making moan,
Arm in arm seven days
They trac’d the desart ways.

Seven nights they sleep
Among the shadows deep,
And dream they see their child
Starv’d in desart wild.

Pale, thro’ pathless ways
The fancied image strays
Famish’d, weeping, weak,
With hollow piteous shriek.

Rising from unrest,
The trembling woman prest
With feet of weary woe:
She could no further go.

In his arms he bore
Her, arm’s with sorrow sore;
Till before their way
A couching lion lay.

Turning back was vain:
Soon his heavy mane
Bore them to the ground.
Then he stalk’d around,

Smelling to his prey;
But their fears allay
When he licks their hands,
And silent by them stands.

They look upon his eyes
Fill’d with deep surprise,
And wondering behold
A spirit arm’d in gold.

On his head a crown,
On his shoulders down
Flow’d his golden hair.
Gone was all their care.

“Follow me,” he said;
“Weep not for the maid;
In my palace deep
Lyca lies asleep.”

Then they followed
Where the vision led,
And saw their sleeping child
Among the tygers wild.

To this day they dwell
In a lonely dell;
Nor fear the wolvish howl
Nor the lion’s growl.

~ –oOo– ~

“The Chimney Sweep”

A little black thing among the snow,
Crying “’weep! ’weep!” in notes of woe!
“Where are thy father & mother? say?”
“They are both gone up to the church to pray.

“Because I was happy upon the heath,
And smil’d 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 & dance & sing,
They think they have done me no injury,
And are gone to praise God & his Priest & King,
Who make up a heaven of our misery.”

~ –oOo– ~

“Nurse’s Song”

When the voices of children are heard on the green
And whisp’rings are in the dale,
The days of my youth rise fresh in my mind,
My face turns green and pale.

Then come home, my children, the sun is gone down,
And the dews of night arise;
Your spring & your day are wasted in play,
And your winter and night in disguise.

~ –oOo– ~

“The Sick Rose”

O Rose, thou art sick!
The invisible worm
That flies in the night,
In the howling storm,

Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy,
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.

~ –oOo– ~

“The Fly”

Little Fly,
Thy summer’s play
My thoughtless hand
Has brush’d away.

Am not I
A fly like thee?
Or art not thou
A man like me?

For I dance,
And drink, & sing,
Till some blind hand
Shall brush my wing.

If thought is life,
And strength & breath,
And the want
Of thought is death;

Then am I
A happy fly,
If I live
or if I die.

~ –oOo– ~

“The Angel”

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 beguil’d!

And I wept both night and day,
And he wip’d my tears away,
And I wept both day and night,
And hid from him my heart’s delight.

So he took his wings and fled;
Then the morn blush’d rosy red;
I dried my tears, & arm’d my fears
With ten thousand shields and spears.

Soon my Angel came again:
I was arm’d, he came in vain;
For the time of youth was fled,
And grey hairs were on my head.

~ –oOo– ~

“The Tyger”

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 water’d 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?

~ –oOo– ~

“ My Pretty Rose-Tree”

A flower was offer’d 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 turn’d away with jealousy,
And her thorns were my only delight.

~ –oOo– ~

“Ah! Sun-Flower”

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.

~ –oOo– ~

“The Lily”

The modest Rose puts forth a thorn,
The humble Sheep a threat’ning horn;
While the Lilly white shall in Love delight,
Nor a thorn, nor a threat, stain her beauty bright.

~ –oOo– ~

Blake thinks he is a prophet.
He as exalted himself from others.
Stars are predictable.
Water is not predictable.

“The Garden of Love”

I went to the Garden of Love,
And saw what I never had seen:
A Chapel was built in the midst,
Where I used to play on the green.

And the gates of this Chapel were shut,
And “Thou shalt not” writ over the door;
So I turn’d to the Garden of Love
That so many sweet flowers bore;

And I saw it was filled with graves,
And tomb-stones where flowers should be;
And Priests in black gowns were walking their rounds,
And binding with briars my joys & desires.

~ –oOo– ~

sexuality
victim of the church
found spirituality in sexuality

“The Little Vagabond”

Dear Mother, dear Mother, the Church is cold,
But the Ale-house is healthy & pleasant & warm;
Besides I can tell where I am used well,
Such usage in Heaven will never do well.

But if at the Church they would give us some Ale,
And a pleasant fire our souls to regale,
We’d sing and we’d pray all the live-long day,
Nor ever once wish from the Church to stray.

Then the Parson might preach, & drink, & sing,
And we’d be as happy as birds in the spring;
And modest Dame Lurch, who is always at Church,
Would not have bandy children, nor fasting, nor birch.

And God, like a father rejoicing to see
His children as pleasant and happy as he,
Would have no more quarrel with the Devil or the Barrel,
But kiss him, & give him both drink and apparel.

~ –oOo– ~

“London”

I wander thro’ each charter’d street,
Near where the charter’d Thames does flow,
And mark in every face I meet
Marks of weakness, marks of woe.

In every cry of every Man,
In every Infant’s cry of fear,
In every voice, in every ban,
The mind-forg’d manacles I hear.

How the Chimney-sweepers cry
Every black’ning Church appalls;
And the hapless Soldier’s sigh
Runs in blood down Palace walls.

But most thro’ midnight streets I hear
How the youthful Harlot’s curse
Blasts the new born Infant’s tear,
And blights with plagues the Marriage hearse.

~ –oOo– ~

“The Human Abstract”

Pity would be no more
If we did not make somebody Poor;
And Mercy no more could be
If all were as happy as we.

And mutual fear brings peace,
Till the selfish loves increase:
Then Cruelty knits a snare,
And spreads his baits with care.

He sits down with holy fears,
And waters the grounds with tears;
Then Humility takes its root
Underneath his foot.

Soon spreads the dismal shade
Of Mystery over his head;
And the Catterpiller and Fly
Feed on the Mystery.

And it bears the fruit of Deceit,
Ruddy and sweet to eat;
And the Raven his nest has made
In its thickest shade.

The Gods of the earth and sea
Sought thro’ Nature to find this Tree;
But their search was all in vain:
There grows one in the Human Brain.

~ –oOo– ~

“Infant Sorrow”

My mother groan’d! my father wept.
Into the dangerous world I leapt:
Helpless, naked, piping loud:
Like a fiend hid in a cloud.

Struggling in my father’s hands,
Striving against my swadling bands,
Bound and weary I thought best
To sulk upon my mother’s breast.

~ –oOo– ~

“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 water’d it in fears,
Night & morning with my tears;
And I sunned 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 veil’d the pole:
In the morning glad I see
My foe outstretch’d beneath the tree.

~ –oOo– ~

“A Little Boy Lost”

“Nought loves another as itself,
Nor venerates another so,
Nor is it possible to Thought
A greater than itself to know:

“And Father, how can I love you
Or any of my brothers more?
I love you like the little bird
That picks up crumbs around the door.”

The Priest sat by and heard the child,
In trembling zeal he siez’d his hair:
He led him by his little coat,
And all admir’d the Priestly care.

And standing on the altar high,
“Lo! what a fiend is here!” said he,
“One who sets reason up for judge
Of our most holy Mystery.”

The weeping child could not be heard,
The weeping parents wept in vain;
They strip’d him to his little shirt,
And bound him in an iron chain;
And burn’d him in a holy place,
Where many had been burn’d before:
The weeping parents wept in vain.
Are such things done on Albion’s shore?

~ –oOo– ~

“A Little Girl Lost”

Children of the future Age
Reading this indignant page,
Know that in a former time
Love! sweet Love! was thought a crime.

In the Age of Gold,
Free from winter’s cold,
Youth and maiden bright
To the holy light,
Naked in the sunny beams delight.

Once a youthful pair,
Fill’d with softest care,
Met in garden bright
Where the holy light
Had just remov’d the curtains of night.

There, in rising day,
On the grass they play;
Parents were afar,
Strangers came not near,
And the maiden soon forgot her fear.

Tired with kisses sweet,
They agree to meet
When the silent sleep
Waves o’er heaven’s deep,
And the weary tired wanderers weep.

To her father white
Came the maiden bright;
But his loving look,
Like the holy book,
All her tender limbs with terror shook.

“Ona! pale and weak!
To thy father speak:
O, the trembling fear!
O, the dismal care!
That shakes the blossoms of my hoary hair.”

~ –oOo– ~

“To Tirzah”

Whate’er is Born of Mortal Birth
Must be consumed with the Earth
To rise from Generation free:
Then what have I to do with thee?

The Sexes sprung from Shame & Pride,
Blow’d in the morn, in evening died;
But Mercy chang’d Death into Sleep;
The Sexes rose to work & weep.

Thou, Mother of my Mortal part,
With cruelty didst mould my Heart,
And with false self-deceiving tears
Didst bind my Nostrils, Eyes, & Ears:

Didst close my Tongue in senseless clay,
And me to Mortal Life betray.
The Death of Jesus set me free:
Then what have I to do with thee?

~ –oOo– ~

“The Schoolboy”

I love to rise in a summer morn
When the birds sing on every tree;
The distant huntsman winds his horn,
And the sky-lark sings with me.
O! what sweet company.

But to go to school in a summer morn,
O! it drives all joy away;
Under a cruel eye outworn,
The little ones spend the day
In sighing and dismay.

Ah! then at times I drooping sit,
And spend many an anxious hour,
Nor in my book can I take delight,
Nor sit in learning’s bower,
Worn thro’ with the dreary shower.

How can the bird that is born for joy
Sit in a cage and sing?
How can a child, when fears annoy,
But droop his tender wing,
And forget his youthful spring?

O! father & mother, if buds are nip’d
And blossoms blown away,
And if the tender plants are strip’d
Of their joy in the springing day,
By sorrow and care’s dismay,

How shall the summer arise in joy,
Or the summer fruits appear?
Or how shall we gather what griefs destroy,
Or bless the mellowing year,
When the blasts of winter appear?

~ –oOo– ~

“The Voice of the Ancient Bard”

Youth of delight, come hither,
And see the opening morn,
Image of truth new born.
Doubt is fled, & clouds of reason,
Dark disputes & artful teazing.
Folly is an endless maze,
Tangled roots perplex her ways.
How many have fallen there!
They stumble all night over bones of the dead,
And feel they know not what but care,
And wish to lead others, when they should be led.

~ –oOo– ~

“The Divine Image”

Cruelty has a Human Heart,
And Jealousy a Human Face;
Terror the Human Form Divine,
And Secrecy the Human Dress.

The Human Dress is forged Iron,
The Human Form a fiery Forge,
The Human Face a Furnace seal’d,
The Human Heart is hungry Gorge.

~ –oOo– ~

  • Blake’s mythology – each romantic views the world in this way:

    • He is above the real where everyone else is.
      • He believed if everybody imagined the same thing at the same time, there would be a new heaven and earth.
      • He received the idea from the storming of the Bastille.
      • He believed in the distant past we were all in the human form divine.
      • He blamed the clergy (church) for our fall.
      • He believed we are born in the real world.
  • Rational=Emotional Imaginative

      • Blake is saying don’t get rid of the rational.
        • We need both.
        • He thought we need balance.
        • He believed the rational suppresses emotional.
        • The pessimistic poetry convinces people of their own true fate so they will all think the same thing at the same time.

  • “Songs of Innocence”
      • are happy and sweet
      • the yin to the yang

  • “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 a merry chear.

“Piper, pipe that song again;”

So I piped: he wept to hear.


“Drop thy pipe, thy happy pipe;

Sing thy songs of happy chear:”

So I sung 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.

~ –oOo– ~

  • “The Shepherd”

How sweet is the Shepherd’s sweet lot!

From the morn to the evening he strays;

He shall follow his sheep all the day,

And his tongue shall be filled with praise.


For he hears the lamb’s innocent call,

And he hears the ewe’s tender reply;

He is watchful while they are in peace,

For they know when their Shepherd is nigh.

~ –oOo– ~

  • “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 lounder around

To the bells’ chearful 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 & 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 on end.

Round the laps of their mothers

Many sisters and brothers,

Like birds in their nest,

Are ready for rest,

And sports no more seen

On the darkening Green.

~ –oOo– ~

  • “The Lamb”

Little Lamb, who made thee?

Dost thou know who made thee?

Gave thee life, & bid thee feed

By the stream & 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, & he is mild;

He became a little child.

I a child, & thou a lamb,

We are called by his name.

Little Lamb, God bless thee!

Little Lamb, God bless thee!

~ –oOo– ~

  • “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 bereav’d of light.


My mother taught me underneath a tree,

And sitting down before the heat of day,

She took me on her lap and kissed 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,

That we may learn to bear the beams of love;

And these black bodies and this sunburnt face

Is but a cloud, and like a shady grove.


“For when our souls have learn’d the heat to bear,

The cloud will vanish; we shall hear his voice,

Saying: ‘Come out from the grove, my love & 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.

~ –oOo– ~

  • “The Blossom”

Merry, Merry Sparrow!

Under leaves so green

A happy Blossom

Sees you swift as arrow

Seek your cradle narrow

Near my Bosom.


Pretty, Pretty Robin!

Under leaves so green

A happy Blossom

Hears you sobbing, sobbing,

Pretty, Pretty Robin,

Near my Bosom.

~ –oOo– ~

  • “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, & in soot I sleep.


There’s little Tom Dacre, who cried when his head,

That curl’d like a lamb’s back, was shav’d: so I said

“Hush, Tom! never mind it, for when you head’s bare

You know that the soot cannot spoil your white hair.”


And so he was quiet, & that very night,

As Tom was a-sleeping, he had such a sight!

That thousands of sweepers, Dick, Joe, Ned, & Jack,

Were all of them lock’d up in coffins of black.


And by came an Angel who had a bright key,

And he open’d the coffins & set them free;

Then down a green plain leaping, laughing, they run,

And wash in a river, and shine in the Sun.


Then naked & 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, & never want joy.


And so Tom awoke; and we rose in the dark,

And got with our bags & our brushes to work,

Tho the morning was cold, Tom was happy & warm,

So if all do their duty they need not fear harm.

~ –oOo– ~

  • “The Little Boy Lost”

“Father! father! where are you going?

O do not walk so fast.

Speak, father, speak to your little boy,

Or else I shall be lost.”


The night was dark, no father was there;

The child was wet with dew;

The mire was deep, & the child did weep,

And away the vapour flew.

~ –oOo– ~

  • “The Little Boy Found”

The little boy lost in the lonely fen,

Led by the wand’ring light,

Began to cry; but God, ever nigh,

Appear’d like his father in white.


He kissed the child & by the hand led

And to his mother brought,

Who in sorrow pale, thro’ the lonely dale,

Her little boy weeping sought.

~ –oOo– ~

  • “A Laughing Song”

When the green woods laugh with the voice of joy,

And the dimpling stream runs laughing by;

When the air does laugh with our merry wit,

And the green hill laughs with the noise of it;


When the meadows laugh with lively green,

And the grasshopper laughs in the merry scene,

When Mary and Susan and Emily

With their sweet round mouths sing “Ha, Ha, He!”


When the painted birds laugh in the shade,

Where our table with cherries and nuts is spread,

Come live & be merry, and join with me,

To sing the sweet chorus of “Ha, Ha, He!”

~ –oOo– ~

  • “A Cradle Song”

Sweet dreams, form a shade

O’er my lovely infant’s head;

Sweet dreams of pleasant streams

By happy, silent, moony beams.


Sweet sleep, with soft down

Weave thy brows an infant crown.

Sweep sleep, Angel mild,

Hover o’er my happy child.


Sweet smiles, in the night

Hover over my delight;

Sweet smiles, Mother’s smiles,

All the livelong night beguiles.


Sweet moans, dovelike sighs,

Chase not slumber from thy eyes.

Sweet moans, sweeter smiles,

All the dovelike moans beguiles.


Sleep, sleep, happy child,

All creation slept and smil’d;

Sleep, sleep, happy sleep,

While o’er thee thy mother weep.


Sweet babe, in thy face

Holy image I can trace.

Sweet babe, once like thee,

Thy maker lay and wept for me,


Wept for me, for thee, for all,

When he was an infant small

Thou his image ever see,

Heavenly face that smiles on thee,


Smiles on thee, on me, on all;

Who became an infant small.

Infant smiles are his own smiles;

Heaven & earth to peace beguiles.

~ –oOo– ~

  • “The Divine Image”

To Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love

All pray in their distress;

And to these virtues of delight

Return their thankfulness.


For Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love

Is God, our father dear,

And Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love

Is Man, his child and care.


For Mercy has a human heart,

Pity a human face,

And Love, the human form divine,

And Peace, the human dress.


Then every man, of every clime,

That prays in his distress,

Prays to the human form divine,

Love, Mercy, Pity, Peace.


And all must love the human form,

In heathen, turk, or jew;

Where Mercy, Love, & Pity dwell

There God is dwelling too.

~ –oOo– ~

  • “Holy Thursday”

‘T was on a Holy Thursday, their innocent faces clean,

The children walking two & two, in red & blue & green,

Grey-headed beadles walk’d before, with wands as white as snow,

Till into the high dome of Paul’s they like Thames’ waters flow.


O what a multitude they seem’d, these flowers of London town!

Seated in companies they sit with radiance all their own.

The hum of multitudes was there, but multitudes of lambs,

Thousands of little boys & girls raising their innocent hands.


Now like a mighty wind they raise to heaven the voice of song,

Or like harmonious thunderings the seats of Heaven among.

Beneath them sit the aged men, wise guardians of the poor;

Then cherish pity, lest you drive an angel from your door.

~ –oOo– ~

  • “Night”

The sun descending in the west,

The evening star does shine;

The birds are silent in their nest,

And I must seek for mine.

The moon like a flower

In heaven’s high bower,

With silent delight

Sits and smiles on the night.


Farewell, green fields and happy groves,

Where flocks have took delight.

Where lambs have nibbled, silent moves

The feet of angels bright;

Unseen they pour blessing

And joy without ceasing,

On each bud and blossom,

And each sleeping bosom.


They look in every thoughtless nest,

Where birds are cover’d warm;

They visit caves of every beast,

To keep them all from harm.

If they see any weeping

That should have been sleeping,

They pour sleep on their head,

And sit down by their bed.


When wolves and tygers howl for prey,

They pitying stand and weep;

Seeking to drive their thirst away,

And keep them from the sheep;

But if they rush dreadful,

The angels, most heedful,

Receive each mild spirit,

New worlds to inherit.


And there the lion’s ruddy eyes

Shall flow with tears of gold,

And pitying the tender cries,

And walking round the fold,

Saying “Wrath, by his meekness,

And by his health, sickness

Is driven away

From our immortal day.


“And now beside thee, bleating lamb,

I can lie down and sleep;

Or think on him who bore thy name,

Graze after thee and weep.

For, wash’d in life’s river,

My bright mane for ever

Shall shine like the gold

As I guard o’er the fold.”

~ –oOo– ~

  • “Spring”

Sound the Flute!

Now it’s mute.

Birds delight

Day and Night;

Nightingale

In the dale,

Lark in Sky,

Merrily,

Merrily, Merrily, to welcome in the Year.


Little Boy,

Full of joy;

Little Girl,

Sweet and small;

Cock does crow,

So do you;

Merry voice,

Infant noise,

Merrily, Merrily, to welcome in the Year.


Little Lamb,

Here I am;

Come and lick

My white neck;

Let me pull

Your soft Wool;

Let me kiss

Your soft face:

Merrily, Merrily, we welcome in the Year.

~ –oOo– ~

  • “Nurse’s Song”

When the voices of children are heard on the green

And laughing is heard on the hill,

My heart is at rest within my breast

And everything else is still.


“Then come home, my children, the sun is gone down

And the dews of night arise;

Come, come, leave off play, and let us away

Till the morning appears in the skies.”


“No, no, let us play, for it is yet day

And we cannot go to sleep;

Besides, in the sky the little birds fly

And the hills are all cover’d with sheep.”


“Well, well, go & play till the light fades away

And then go home to bed.”

The little ones leaped & shouted & laugh’d

And all the hills echoed.

~ –oOo– ~

  • “Infant Joy”

“I have no name:

I am but two days old.”

What shall I call thee?

“I happy am,

Joy is my name.”

Sweet joy befall thee!


Pretty joy!

Sweet joy but two days old,

Sweet joy I call thee:

Thou dost smile,

I sing the while,

Sweet joy befall thee!

~ –oOo– ~

  • “A Dream”

Once a dream did weave a shade

O’er my Angel-guarded bed,

That an Emmet lost its way

Where on grass methought I lay.


Troubled, ‘wilder’d, and forlorn,

Dark, benighted, travel-worn,

Over many a tangled spray,

All heart-broken I heard her say:


“O, my children! do they cry?

Do they hear their father sigh?

Now they look abroad to see:

Now return and weep for me.”


Pitying, I drop’d a tear;

But I saw a glow-worm near,

Who replied: “What wailing wight

Calls the watchman of the night?


“I am set to light the ground,

While the beetle goes his round:

Follow now the beetle’s hum;

Little wanderer, hie thee home.”

~ –oOo– ~

  • “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 fill’d?


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 & 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 & 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 & gone

He doth sit by us and moan.

~ –oOo– ~

  • The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
  • Blake’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell is a simplistically written satire against self-righteous members of the society and Orthodox Christianity.

“The Argument”

“The Voice of the Devil”

“A Memorable Fancy”

“Proverbs Of Hell”

“A Memorable Fancy”

“A Song Of Liberty”

~ –oOo– ~

    • The human form divine is the perfect balance between the rational and the emotional.
    • Emotional – imaginative – energy – are falsely labeled evil.
    • So he writes the Marriage of Heaven and Hell.
      • the marriage of emotional and rational
    • His writing is over the top because he as a big job ahead of him.
  • “The Argument”

Rintrah roars & shakes his fires in the burden’d air;

Hungry clouds swag on the deep.

Once meek, and in a perilous path,

The just man kept his course along

The vale of death.

Roses are planted where thorns grow,

And on the barren heath

Sing the honey bees.

Then the perilous path was planted:

And a river and a spring

On every cliff and tomb:

And on the bleached bones

Red clay brought forth.

Till the villain left the paths of ease,

To walk in perilous paths, and drive

The just man into barren climes.

Now the sneaking serpent walks

In mild humility,

And the just man rages in the wilds

Where lions roam.

Rintrah roars & shakes his fires in the burden’d air;

Hungry clouds swag on the deep.


As a new heaven is begun, and it is now thir­ty-three years since its advent: the Eternal Hell revives. And lo! Swedenborg is the Angel sitting at the tomb: his writings are the linen clothes folded up. Now is the dominion of Edom, & the return of Adam into Paradise: see Isaiah xxxiv & xxxv Chap: 

Without Contraries is no progression. Attraction and Repulsion, Reason and Energy, Love and Hate, are necessary to Human existence. 

From these contraries spring what the religious call Good & Evil. Good is the passive that obeys Reason. Evil is the active springing from Energy. 

Good is Heaven. Evil is Hell.

~ –oOo– ~

    • Rintrah is Elijah from the Old Testament and John the Baptist.
      • They are preparing the way for Christ.
      • Then Christ was born of man.
      • Then the church was born causing chaos.
      • Now, the French Revolution has begun.
      • “The Argument” is prophetic sounding because he sees himself as a prophet.
  • Plate 3
    • Blake sees himself as Christ-like.
      • He is going to show us the way back into paradise.
      • Opposites are good and are needed for human existence.
    • When Blake says religious, he mans the fallen world (deities, church, etc.).
    • The voice of the devil (the voice of the human form divine)
    • Contraries

      • Energy and emotion are the helium.
      • Reason is the rubber part of the balloon.
      • You cannot separate them.
      • They cannot work without one another.
    • Birds are important symbols because they can fly.
    • Blake accepts good and evil but reverses its values.
      • Hell offers freedom, energy, abundance, and actions.
      • Heaven offers reason, restraint, passivity, and prohibition.
    • Blake states that real good is a marriage of restraint and desire, energy and reason.
    • Blake truly believed that he was born at the time of the Last Judgment and the coming of the Kingdom of Heaven.
      • At this time, Blake was the age at which Christ had been resurrected
    • There is no progression without contraries –
      • attraction / repulsion
      • reason / energy
      • love / hate
      • Good is heaven. / Evil is hell.
  • “The Voice of the Devil” (Plate 4)

All Bibles or sacred codes, have been the causes of the following Errors.


1. That Man has two real existing principles Viz: a Body & a Soul.

2. That Energy, call’d Evil, is alone from the Body, & that Reason, call’d Good, is alone from the Soul.

3. That God will torment Man in Eternity for following his Energies.


But the following Contraries to these are True.


1. Man has no Body distinct from his Soul; for that call’d Body is a portion of Soul discern’d by the five Senses, the chief inlets of Soul in this age.

2. Energy is the only life and is from the Body and Reason is the bound or outward circumference of Energy.

3. Energy is Eternal Delight.


Those who restrain desire, do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained; and the restrainer of reason usurps its place & governs the unwilling.


And being restrain’d it by degrees becomes passive till it is only the shadow of desire.


The history of this written in Paradise Lost, & the Governor of Reason is call’d Messiah.


And the original Archangel or possessor of the command of the heavenly host, is call’d the Devil or Satan and his children are call’d Sin & Death.


But in the Book of Job Miltons Messiah is call’d Satan.


For this history has been adopted by both parties.


It indeed appear’d to Reason as if Desire was cast out, but the Devils account is that the Messiah fell, & formed a heaven of what he stole from the Abyss.


This is shewn in the Gospel, where he prays to the Father to send the comforter or Desire that Reason may have Ideas to build on, the Jehovah of the Bible being no other than he who dwells in flaming fire.


Know that after Christs death, he became Jehovah.


But in Milton’ the Father is Destiny, the Son, a Raio of the five senses, & the Holy-ghost, Vacuum! Note. The reason Milton wrote in fetters when he wrote of Angels & God, and at liberty when of Devils & Hell, is because he was a true Poet and of the Devils party without knowing it.

~ –oOo– ~

    • Errors in the Bible
      • Man has two existing principles – body / soul.
      • Energy is from the body.
      • Evil / reason is from the soul – good.
      • Good will torment man for his energy.
    • Contraries
      • Man has no body without soul. Body is portion of soul – with 5 senses – the inlets of soul.
      • Energy is the ONLY life. From body, reason is the bound energy.
      • Energy is eternal delight.
  • “A Memorable Fancy”

As I was walking among the fires of hell, delighted with the enjoyments of Genius; which to Angels look like torment and insanity, I collected some of their Proverbs; thinking that as the sayings used in a nation, mark its character, so the Proverbs of Hell, shew the nature in Infernal wisdom better than any description of buildings or garments,


When I came home: on the abyss of the five senses, where a flat sided steep frowns over the present world, I saw a mighty Devil folded in black clouds, hovering on the sides of the rock, with corroding fires he wrote the following sentence now percieved by the minds of men, & read by them on earth.


How do you know but ev’ry Bird that cuts the airy way,


Is an immense world of delight, clos’d by your senses five?

 

~ –oOo– ~

    • What does he want us to know?
      • “How do you know but ev’ry  Bird that cuts the airy way/ Is an immense world of delight, clos’d by your senses five?”
        • Birds are free.
        • There are two ways to look at a bird.
          • rational
          • emotional
    • We use our scientific minds and close off our emotional and imagination.
    • We close ourselves off to beauty.
  • “Proverbs of Hell”
    • “Proverbs of Hell” show the nature of wisdom
    • Blake sees himself as the devil that must spread the word

“In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy

Drive your cart and your plow over the bones of the dead

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom

Prudence is a rich ugly old maid courted by incapacity

He who desires but acts not, breeds pestilence

The cut worm forgives the plow

Dip him in the river who loves water

A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees

He whose face gives no light, shall never be a star.

Eternity is in love with the productions of time

The busy bee has no time for sorrow

The hours of folly are measur’d by the clock; but of wisdom, no clock can measure.

All wholsom food is caught without a net or trap.

Bring out number, weight, & measure in a year of dearth

No bird soars too high, if he soars with his own wings

A dead body revenges not injuries

The most sublime act is to set another before you

If the fool would persist in his folly he would become wise.

Folly is the cloke of knavery

Shame is Pride’s cloke.

~ –oOo– – ~ 

Prisons are built with stones of Law, Brothels with bricks of Religion.

The pride of the peacock is the glory of God.

The lust of the goat is the bounty of God.

The wrath of the lion is the wisdom of God.

The nakedness of woman is the work of God.

Excess of sorrow laughs. Excess of joy weeps.

The roaring of lions, the howling of wolves, the raging of the stormy sea, and the destructive sword, are portions of eternity too great for the eye of man.

The fox condemns the trap, not himself.

Joys impregnate. Sorrows bring forth.

Let man wear the fell of the lion, woman the fleece of the sheep.

The bird a nest, the spider a web, man friendship.

The selfish smiling fool, & the sullen frowning fool, shall be both thought wise, that they may be a rod.

What is now proved was once only imagin’d.

The rat, the mouse, the fox, the rabbit: watch the roots; the lion, the tyger, the horse, the elephant, watch the fruits.

The cistern contains; the fountain overflows.

One thought, fills immensity.

Always be ready to speak your mind, and a base man will avoid you.

Every thing possible to be believ’d is an image of truth.

The eagle never lost so much time, as when he submitted to learn of the crow.

~ –oOo– ~

The fox provides for himself, but God provides for the lion.

Think in the morning. Act in the noon. Eat in the evening. Sleep in the night.

He who has suffer’d you to impose on him knows you.

As the plow follows words, so God rewards prayers.

The tygers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

Expect poison from the standing water.

You never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough.

Listen to the fools reproach! it is a kingly title!

The eyes of fire, the nostrils of air, the mouth of water, the beard of earth.

The weak in courage is strong in cunning.

The apple tree never asks the beech how he shall grow, nor the lion, the horse, how he shall take his prey.

The thankful reciever bears a plentiful harvest.

If others had not been foolish, we should be so.

The soul of sweet delight, can never be defil’d.

When thou seest an Eagle, thou seest a portion of Genius, lift up thy head!

As the catterpiller chooses the fairest leaves to lay her eggs on, so the priest lays his curse on the fairest joys.

To create a little flower is the labour of ages.

Damn, braces: Bless relaxes.

The best wine is the oldest, the best water the newest.

Prayers plow not! Praises reap not!

Joys laugh not! Sorrows weep not!

~ –oOo– ~

The head Sublime, the heart Pathos, the genitals Beauty, the hands & feet Proportion.

As the air to a bird or the sea to a fish, so is contempt to the contemptible.

The crow wish’d every thing was black, the owl, that every thing was white.

Exuberance is Beauty.

If the lion was advised by the fox, he would be cunning.

Improvement makes strait roads, but the crooked roads without Improvement, are roads of Genius.

Sooner murder an infant in its cradle than nurse unacted desires.

Where man is not nature is barren.

Truth can never be told so as to be understood, and not be believ’d.

Enough! or Too much!

The ancient Poets animated all sensible objects with Gods or Geniuses, calling them by the names and adorning them with the properties of woods, rivers, mountains, lakes, cities, nations, and whatever their enlarged & numerous senses could percieve.

And particularly they studied the genius of each city & country, placing it under its mental deity.

Till a system was formed, which some took advantage of & enslav’d the vulgar by attempting to realize or abstract the mental deities from their objects; thus began Priesthood.

Choosing forms of worship from poetic tales.

And a length they pronounc’d that the Gods had order’d such things.

Thus men forgot that All deities reside in the human breast.”

~ –oOo– ~

  • Plate 8
    • line 1
      • If we didn’t have religion and laws there would be no rules to break.
      • Rational is what makes emotions bad.
    • line 13
      • self explanatory
      • To be foolish is to follow emotions but he says it will make one wise.
  • Plate 9
    • line 7
      • Don’t limit yourself.
      • You never know what you are capable of if you do not push yourself.
  • Plate 11
    • Ancient poets…
      • created gods.
      • placed cities and countries under its mental deity this enslaved man.
        • Priesthood was born because of this.
        • Worship came from poetic tales.
      • told man the gods ordered such things.
        • Men forgot that gods reside in the human breast.
    • The poets were created of human form divine.
    • We fell by separation.
    • Religious structure is a power play.
    • line 9
      • Without your inner light, you are just there.
    • line 4
      • If you are prudent, you have not been tempted.
  • “A Memorable Fancy”

The Prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel dined with me, and I asked them how they dared so roundly to assert, that God spoke to them; and whether they did not think at the time, that they would be misunderstood, & so be the cause of imposition.


Isaiah answer’d, I saw no God, nor heard any, in a finite organical perception; but my senses discover’d the infinite in every thing, and as I was then perswaded, & remain confirm’d; that the voice of honest indignation is the voice of God, I cared not for consequences but wrote.


Then I asked: does a firm perswasion that a thing is so, make it so?


He replied, All poets that it does, & in ages of imagination this firm perswasion removed mountains; but many are not capable of a firm perswasion of any thing.


Then Ezekiel said, The philosophy of the east taught the first principles of human perception: some nations held one principle for the origin & some another; we of Israel taught that the Poetic Genius (as you now call it) was the first principle and all other others merely derivative, which was the cause of our despising the priests & Philosophers of other countries, and prophecying that all Gods would at last be proved to originate in ours & to be the tributaries of the Poetic Genius; it was this that our great poet King David desired so fervently & invokes so patheticly, saying by this he conquers enemies & governs kingdoms; and we so loved our God, that we cursed in his name all deities of surrounding nations, and asserted that they had rebelled; from these opinions the vulgar came to think that all nations would at last be subject to the jews.


This said he, like all firm perswasions, is come to pass, for all nations believe the jews code and worship the jews god, and what greater subjection can be? I heard this with some wonder, & must confess my own conviction. After dinner I ask’d Isaiah to favour the world with his lost works, he said none of equal value was lost. Ezekiel said the same of his.


I also asked Isaiah what made him go naked and barefoot three years? he answer’d, the same that made our friend Diogenes the Grecian.


I then asked Ezekiel, why he eat dung, & lay so long on his right & left side? he answer’d, the desire of raising other men into a perception of the infinite; this the North American tribes practise, & is he honest who resists his genius or conscience only for the sake of present ease or gratification?


The ancient tradition that the world will be consumed in fire at the end of six thousand years is true, as I have heard from Hell.


For the cherub with his flaming sword is hereby commanded to leave his guard at tree of life, and when he does, the whole creation will be consumed, and appear infinite, and holy whereas it now appears finite & corrupt.


This will come to pass by an improvement of sensual enjoyment.


But first the notion that man has a body distinct from his soul, is to be expunged: this I shall do, by printing in the infernal method, by corrosives, which in Hell are salutary and medicinal, melting apparent surfaces away, and displaying the infinite which was hid.


If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite.


For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.

 

~ –oOo– ~


I was in a Printing house in Hell & saw the method in which knowledge is transmitted from generation to generation.


In the first chamber was a Dragon-Man, clearing away the rubbish from a caves moth; within, a number of Dragons were hollowing the cave.


In the second chamber was a Viper folding round the rock & the cave, and others adorning it with gold, silver and precious stones.


In the third chamber was an Eagle with wings and feathers of air; he caused the inside of the cave to be infinite; around were numbers of Eagle like men, who built palaces in the immense cliffs.


In the fourth chamber were Lions of flaming fire raging around & melting the metals into living fluids.


In the fifth chamber were Unnam’d forms, which cast the metals into the expanse.


There they were reciev’d by Men who occupied the sixth chamber, and took the forms of books & were arranged in libraries.


The Giants who formed this world into its sensual existence and now seem to live in it in chains, are in truth, the causes of its life & the sources of all activity; but the chains are, the cunning of weak and tame minds, which have power to resist energy, according to the proverb, the weak in courage is strong in cunning.


Thus one portion of being, is the Prolific, the other, the Devouring: to the devourer it seems as if the producer was in his chains, but it is not so; he only takes portions of existence and fancies that the whole.


But the Prolific would cease to be Prolific unless the Devourer as a sea recieved the excess of his delights.


Some will say, Is not God alone the Prolific? I answer, God only Acts & Is, in existing beings or Men. These two classes of men are always upon earth, & they should be enemies; whoever tries to reconcile them seeks to destroy existence.


Religion is an endeavour to reconcile the two.


Note. Jesus Christ did not wish to unite but to seperate them, as in the Parable of sheep and goats! & he says I came not to send Peace but a Sword.


Messiah or Satan or Tempter was formerly thought to be one of the Antediluvians who are our Energies.

 

~ –oOo– ~


An Angel came to me and said O pitiable foolish young man! O horrible! O dreadful state! consider the hot burning dungeon thou art preparing for thyself to all eternity, to which thou art going in such career.


I said, perhaps you will be willing to shew me my eternal lot & we will contemplate together upon it and see whether your lot or mine is most desirable.


So he took me thro’ a stable & thro’ a church & down into the church vault at the end of which was a mill: thro’ the mill we went, and came to a cave, down the winding cavern we groped our tedious way till a void boundless as a nether sky appear’d beneath us, & we held by the roots of trees and hung over this immensity, but I said, if you please we will commit ourselves to this void, and see whether providence is here also, if you will not, I will? but he answer’d, do not presume O young-man but as we here remain behold thy lot which will soon appear when the darkness passes away.


So I remain’d with him sitting in the twisted root of an oak; he was suspended in a fungus, which hung with the head downward into the deep.


By degrees we beheld the infinite Abyss, fiery as the smoke of a burning city; beneath us at an immense distance was the sun, black but shining; round it were fiery tracks on which revolv’d vast spiders, crawling after their prey; which flew or rather swum in the infinite deep, in the most terrific shapes of animals sprung from corruption, & the air was full of them, & seem’d composed of them; these are Devils, and arc called Powers of the air. I now asked my companion which was my eternal lot? he said, between the black & white spiders.


But now, from between the black & white spiders, a cloud and fire burst and rolled thro’ the deep, blackning all beneath, so that the nether deep grew black as a sea & rolled with a terrible noise; beneath us was nothing now to be seen but a black tempest, till looking east between the clouds & the waves, we saw a cataract of blood mixed with fire, and not many stones throw from us appear’d and sunk again the scaly fold of a monstrous serpent; at last to the east, distant about three degrees appear’d a fiery crest above the waves; slowly it reared like a ridge of golden rocks till we discover’d two globes of crimson fire, from which the sea fled away in clouds of smoke, and now we saw, it was the head of Leviathan; his forehead was divided into streaks of green & purple like those on a tygers forehead: soon we saw his mouth & red gills hang just above the raging foam tinging the black deep with beams of blood, advancing toward us with all the fury of a spiritual existence.


My friend the Angel climb’d up from his station into the mill; I remain’d alone, & then this appearance was no more, but I found myself sitting on a pleasant bank beside a river by moonlight hearing a harper who sung to the harp, & his theme was, The man who never alters his opinion is like standing water, & breeds reptiles of the mind.


But I arose, and sought for the mill & there I found my Angel, who surprised asked me how I escaped? I answer’d, All that we saw was owing to your metaphysics; for when you ran away, I found myself on a bank by moonlight hearing a harper. But now we have seen my eternal lot, shall I shew you yours? he laugh’d at my proposal; but I by force suddenly caught him in my arms, & flew westerly thro’ the night, till we were elevated above the earths shadow; then I flung myself with him directly into the body of the sun; here I clothed myself in white, & taking in my hand Swedenborgs volumes, sunk from the glorious clime, and passed all the planets till we came to saturn; here I staid to rest, & then leap’d into the void, between saturn & the fixed stars.


Here, said I! is your lot, in this space, if space it may be call’d. Soon we saw the stable and the church, & I took him to the altar and open’d the Bible, and lo! it was a deep pit, into which I descended driving the Angel before me; soon we saw seven houses of brick; one we enter’d; in it were a number of monkeys, baboons, & all of that species, chain’d by the middle, grinning and snatching at one another, but witheld by the shortness of their chains; however I saw that they sometimes grew numerous, and then the weak were caught by the strong, and with a grinning aspect, first coupled with & then devour’d, by plucking off first one limb and then another till the body was left a helpless trunk; this after grinning & kissing it with seeming fondness they devour’d too; and here & there I saw one savourily picking the flesh off of his own tail; as the stench terribly annoy’d us both we went into the mill, & I in my hand brought the skeleton of a body, which in the mill was Aristotles Analytics.


So the Angel said: thy phantasy has imposed upon me & thou oughtest to be ashamed.


I answer’d: we impose on one another, & it is but lost time to converse with you whose works are only Analytics.


Opposition is true Friendship.


I have always found that Angels have the vanity to speak of themselves as the only wise; this they do with a confident insolence sprouting from systematic reasoning:


Thus Swedenborg boasts that what he writes is new; tho’ it is only the Contents or Index of already publish’d books.


A man carried a monkey about for a shew, & because he was a little wiser than the monkey, grew vain, and conciev’d himself as much wiser than seven men. It is so with Swedenborg; he shews the folly of churches & exposes hypocrites, till he imagines that all are religious, & himself the single one on earth that ever broke a net.


Now hear a plain fact: Swedenborg has not written one new truth:


Now hear another: he has written all the old falshoods.


And now hear the reason. He conversed with Angels who are all religious, & conversed not with Devils who all hate religion, for he was incapable thro’ his conceited notions.


Thus Swedenborgs writings are a recapitulation of all superficial, opinions, and an analysis of the more sublime, but no further.


Have now another plain fact: Any man of mechanical talents may from the writings of Paracelsus or Jacob Behmen, produce ten thousand volumes of equal value with Swedenborgs, and from those of Dante or Shakespear, an infinite number.


But when he has done this, let him not say that he knows better than his master, for he only holds a candle in sunshine.

 

~ –oOo– ~


Once I saw a Devil in a flame of fire, who arose before an Angel that sat on a cloud, and the Devil utter’d these words.


The worship of God is, Honouring his gifts in other men each according to his genius, and loving the greatest men best; those who envy or calumniate great men hate God, for there is no other God. The Angel hearing this became almost blue, but mastering himself he grew yellow, & at last white pink & smiling, and then replied,


Thou Idolater, is not God One? & is not he visible in Jesus Christ? and has not Jesus Christ given his sanction to the law often commandments, and are not all other men fools, sinners, & nothings?


The Devil answer’d: bray a fool in a morter with wheat, yet shall not his folly be beaten out of him; if Jesus Christ is the greatest man, you ought to love him in the greatest degree; now hear how he has given his sanction to the law of ten commandments: did he not mock at the sabbath, and so mock the sabbaths God? murder those who were murder’d because of him? turn away the law from the woman taken in adultery? steal the labor of others to support him? bear false witness when he omitted making a defence before Pilate? covet when he pray’d for his disciples, and when he bid them shake off the dust of their feet against such as refused to lodge them? I tell you, no virtue can exist without breaking these ten commandments; Jesus was all virtue, and acted from impulse, not from rules.


When he had so spoken: I beheld the Angel who stretched out his arms embracing the flame of fire, & he was consumed and arose as Elijah.


Note. This Angel, who is now become a Devil, is my particular friend; we often read the Bible together in its infernal or diabolical sense which the world shall have if they behave well.


I have also: The Bible of Hell: which the world shall have whether they will or no.


One Law for the Lion & Ox is Oppression.

 

~ –oOo– ~

    • An angel deity…

        • rational
        • when the angel left hell
        • The nice peaceful world is there.
        • You picture hell this way because you see the world through a rational mindset.
        • Walks along fires of hell and is delighted with enjoyments of genius
      • Blake meets up with an angel.
        • The angel tells him that he is preparing himself for a horrible eternity.
        • Blake dared the angel to show him.
          • Angel symbolically took Blake through the bible.
          • He took Blake to the infinite Abyss, with the devils, and told him that is lot was between the black and white spider.
        • Leviathan headed for them.
          • The angel fled. Blake remained and leviathan disappeared. The bank was pleasant and bathed in moonlight. He heard a Harper.
        • Blake left and found the angel who was curious how Blake escaped.
        • He told the angel what had happened.
          • The angel laughed.
          • Blake grabbed the angel and took him to his lot.
            • It was beyond Saturn in the void between Saturn and the fixed stars.
            • Blake told the angel this was his lot.
            • It was a pit that was hell-like.
            • It was full of baboons and monkeys killing one another.
              • They were cannibals.
            • Angel told Blake he should be ashamed.
            • Blake told him, “We impose on one another, and it is but lost time to converse with you, whose works are only Analytics.”

  • “A Song Of Liberty”

1. The Eternal Female groan’d! it was heard over all the Earth:

2. Albions coast is sick silent; the American meadows faint!

3. Shadows of Prophecy shiver along by the lakes and the rivers and mutter across the ocean. France rend down thy dungeon;

4. Golden Spain burst the barriers of old Rome;

5. Cast thy keys O Rome into the deep down falling, even to eternity down falling,

6. And weep.

7. In her trembling hands she took the new born terror howling;

8. On those infinite mountains of light, now barr’d out by the atlantic sea, the new born fire stood before the starry king!

9. Flag’d with grey brow’d snows and thunderous visages the jealous wings wav’d over the deep.

10. The speary hand burned aloft, unbuckled was the shield, forth went the hand of jealousy among the flaming hair, and hurl’d the new born wonder thro’ the starry night.

11. The fire, the fire, is falling!

12. Look up! look up! O citizen of London, enlarge thy countenance; O Jew, leave counting gold! return to thy oil and wine; O African! black African! (go, winged thought, widen his forehead.)

13. The fiery limbs, the flaming hair, shot like the sinking sun into the western sea.

14. Wak’d from his eternal sleep, the hoary element roaring fled away;

15. Down rush’d beating his wings in vain the jealous king; his grey brow’d councellors, thunderous warriors, curl’d veterans, among helms, and shields, and chariots, horses, elephants: banners, castles, slings, and rocks,

16. Falling, rushing, ruining! buried in the ruins, on Urthona’s dens;

17. All night beneath the ruins, then their sullen flames faded emerge round the gloomy King.

18. With thunder and fire: leading his starry hosts thro’ the waste wilderness, he promulgates his ten commands, glancing: his beamy eyelids over the deep in dark dismay,

19. Where the son of fire in his eastern cloud, while the morning plumes her Golden breast,

20. Spurning the clouds written with curses, stamps the stony law to dust, loosing: the eternal horses from the dens of night, crying,

Empire is no more! and now the lion & wolf shall cease

 

Chorus


Let the Priests of the Raven of dawn, no longer in deadly black, with hoarse note curse the sons of joy. Nor his accepted brethren, whom tyrant, he calls free: lay the bound or build the roof. Nor pale religious letchery call that virginity, that wishes but acts not!


For every thing that lives is Holy.

 

~ –oOo– ~

William Wordsworth

  • Who had a long poetic decline?
    • Wordsworth
  • Lived in the Lake District just off of the border of Scotland, Lake Grasmere
  • Death mask made from a cast of his face
  • Dove Cottage (his house) had been a medieval inn
  • The only likeness of Dorothy is a silhouette
  • Lyrical poems: lines written in early spring
  • He is trying to jog people out of the rational – remind them of their childhood.
  • He is “grieved of what man has made of man.”

    • To Wordsworth, nature is the ideal.
      • It is unpredictable.
      • It can’t be controlled by man God imagined the world.
      • In nature you are walking around in God’s mind.
        • Wordsworth always linked nature with the divine.
        • Wordsworth was seen as a sell out later in life.
        • Nature linked man to the ideal, but we fell in the real.
        • The flowers, twigs, and birds are still in nature.
        • We stopped being at one with nature
  • “The Tables Turned”

Up! up! my Friend, and quit your books;

Or surely you’ll grow double:

Up! up! my Friend, and clear your looks;

Why all this toil and trouble?


The sun above the mountain’s head,

A freshening lustre mellow

Through all the long green fields has spread,

His first sweet evening yellow.


Books! ’tis a dull and endless strife:

Come, hear the woodland linnet,

How sweet his music! on my life,

There’s more of wisdom in it.


And hark! how blithe the throstle sings!

He, too, is no mean preacher:

Come forth into the light of things,

Let Nature be your teacher.


She has a world of ready wealth,

Our minds and hearts to bless—

Spontaneous wisdom breathed by health,

Truth breathed by cheerfulness.


One impulse from a vernal wood

May teach you more of man,

Of moral evil and of good,

Than all the sages can.


Sweet is the lore which Nature brings;

Our meddling intellect

Mis-shapes the beauteous forms of things:—

We murder to dissect.


Enough of Science and of Art;

Close up those barren leaves;

Come forth, and bring with you a heart

That watches and receives.

    • Answers to expostulations – you are wasting your time dreaming.
  • “Expostulations and Reply”

“WHY, William, on that old grey stone,

Thus for the length of half a day,

Why, William, sit you thus alone,

And dream your time away?


“Where are your books?–that light bequeathed

To Beings else forlorn and blind!

Up! up! and drink the spirit breathed

From dead men to their kind.

“You look round on your Mother Earth,

As if she for no purpose bore you;

As if you were her first-born birth,

And none had lived before you!”


One morning thus, by Esthwaite lake,

When life was sweet, I knew not why,

To me my good friend Matthew spake,

And thus I made reply:


“The eye–it cannot choose but see;

We cannot bid the ear be still;

Our bodies feel, where’er they be,

Against or with our will.


“Nor less I deem that there are Powers

Which of themselves our minds impress;

That we can feed this mind of ours

In a wise passiveness.


“Think you, ‘mid all this mighty sum

Of things for ever speaking,

That nothing of itself will come,

But we must still be seeking?


“–Then ask not wherefore, here, alone,

Conversing as I may,

I sit upon this old grey stone,

And dream my time away,”

 

1798.

      • talking to rational mind
      • You are more wise if you learn from nature instead of watching to se how things work.
      • We take apart things to see how they work.
      • You can read about life; but until we experience life, we don’t know what it is like.
  • “Ode: Intimations of Immortality”

THERE was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,

The earth, and every common sight,

To me did seem

Apparell’d in celestial light,

The glory and the freshness of a dream. 5

It is not now as it hath been of yore;—

Turn wheresoe’er I may,

By night or day,

The things which I have seen I now can see no more.


The rainbow comes and goes, 10

And lovely is the rose;

The moon doth with delight

Look round her when the heavens are bare;

Waters on a starry night

Are beautiful and fair; 15

The sunshine is a glorious birth;

But yet I know, where’er I go,

That there hath pass’d away a glory from the earth.


Now, while the birds thus sing a joyous song,

And while the young lambs bound 20

As to the tabor’s sound,

To me alone there came a thought of grief:

A timely utterance gave that thought relief,

And I again am strong:

The cataracts blow their trumpets from the steep; 25

No more shall grief of mine the season wrong;

I hear the echoes through the mountains throng,

The winds come to me from the fields of sleep,

And all the earth is gay;

Land and sea 30

Give themselves up to jollity,

And with the heart of May

Doth every beast keep holiday;—

Thou Child of Joy,

Shout round me, let me hear thy shouts, thou happy 35

Shepherd-boy!


Ye blessèd creatures, I have heard the call

Ye to each other make; I see

The heavens laugh with you in your jubilee;

My heart is at your festival, 40

My head hath its coronal,

The fulness of your bliss, I feel—I feel it all.

O evil day! if I were sullen While Earth herself is adorning,

This sweet May-morning, 45

And the children are culling

On every side,

In a thousand valleys far and wide,

Fresh flowers; while the sun shines warm,

And the babe leaps up on his mother’s arm:— 50

I hear, I hear, with joy I hear!

—But there’s a tree, of many, one,

A single field which I have look’d upon,

Both of them speak of something that is gone:

The pansy at my feet 55

Doth the same tale repeat:

Whither is fled the visionary gleam?

Where is it now, the glory and the dream?


Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:

The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star, 60

Hath had elsewhere its setting,

And cometh from afar:

Not in entire forgetfulness,

And not in utter nakedness,

But trailing clouds of glory do we come 65

From God, who is our home:

Heaven lies about us in our infancy!

Shades of the prison-house begin to close

Upon the growing Boy,

But he beholds the light, and whence it flows, 70

He sees it in his joy;

The Youth, who daily farther from the east

Must travel, still is Nature’s priest,

And by the vision splendid

Is on his way attended; 75

At length the Man perceives it die away,

And fade into the light of common day.


Earth fills her lap with pleasures of her own;

Yearnings she hath in her own natural kind,

And, even with something of a mother’s mind, 80

And no unworthy aim,

The homely nurse doth all she can

To make her foster-child, her Inmate Man,

Forget the glories he hath known,

And that imperial palace whence he came. 85


Behold the Child among his new-born blisses,

A six years’ darling of a pigmy size!

See, where ‘mid work of his own hand he lies,

Fretted by sallies of his mother’s kisses,

With light upon him from his father’s eyes! 90

See, at his feet, some little plan or chart,

Some fragment from his dream of human life,

Shaped by himself with newly-learnèd art;

A wedding or a festival,

A mourning or a funeral; 95

And this hath now his heart,

And unto this he frames his song:

Then will he fit his tongue

To dialogues of business, love, or strife;

But it will not be long 100

Ere this be thrown aside,

And with new joy and pride

The little actor cons another part;

Filling from time to time his ‘humorous stage’

With all the Persons, down to palsied Age, 105

That Life brings with her in her equipage;

As if his whole vocation

Were endless imitation.


Thou, whose exterior semblance doth belie

Thy soul’s immensity; 110

Thou best philosopher, who yet dost keep

Thy heritage, thou eye among the blind,

That, deaf and silent, read’st the eternal deep,

Haunted for ever by the eternal mind,—

Mighty prophet! Seer blest! 115

On whom those truths do rest,

Which we are toiling all our lives to find,

In darkness lost, the darkness of the grave;

Thou, over whom thy Immortality

Broods like the Day, a master o’er a slave, 120

A presence which is not to be put by;

To whom the grave

Is but a lonely bed without the sense or sight

Of day or the warm light,

A place of thought where we in waiting lie; 125

Thou little Child, yet glorious in the might

Of heaven-born freedom on thy being’s height,

Why with such earnest pains dost thou provoke

The years to bring the inevitable yoke,

Thus blindly with thy blessedness at strife? 130

Full soon thy soul shall have her earthly freight,

And custom lie upon thee with a weight,

Heavy as frost, and deep almost as life!


O joy! that in our embers

Is something that doth live, 135

That nature yet remembers

What was so fugitive!

The thought of our past years in me doth breed

Perpetual benediction: not indeed

For that which is most worthy to be blest— 140

Delight and liberty, the simple creed

Of childhood, whether busy or at rest,

With new-fledged hope still fluttering in his breast:—

Not for these I raise

The song of thanks and praise; 145

But for those obstinate questionings

Of sense and outward things,

Fallings from us, vanishings;

Blank misgivings of a Creature

Moving about in worlds not realized, 150

High instincts before which our mortal Nature

Did tremble like a guilty thing surprised:

But for those first affections,

Those shadowy recollections,

Which, be they what they may, 155

Are yet the fountain-light of all our day,

Are yet a master-light of all our seeing;

Uphold us, cherish, and have power to make

Our noisy years seem moments in the being

Of the eternal Silence: truths that wake, 160

To perish never:

Which neither listlessness, nor mad endeavour,

Nor Man nor Boy,

Nor all that is at enmity with joy,

Can utterly abolish or destroy! 165

Hence in a season of calm weather

Though inland far we be,

Our souls have sight of that immortal sea

Which brought us hither,

Can in a moment travel thither, 170

And see the children sport upon the shore,

And hear the mighty waters rolling evermore.


Then sing, ye birds, sing, sing a joyous song!

And let the young lambs bound

As to the tabor’s sound! 175

We in thought will join your throng,

Ye that pipe and ye that play,

Ye that through your hearts to-day

Feel the gladness of the May!

What though the radiance which was once so bright 180

Be now for ever taken from my sight,

Though nothing can bring back the hour

Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;

We will grieve not, rather find

Strength in what remains behind; 185

In the primal sympathy

Which having been must ever be;

In the soothing thoughts that spring

Out of human suffering;

In the faith that looks through death, 190

In years that bring the philosophic mind.


And O ye Fountains, Meadows, Hills, and Groves,

Forebode not any severing of our loves!

Yet in my heart of hearts I feel your might;

I only have relinquish’d one delight 195

To live beneath your more habitual sway.

I love the brooks which down their channels fret,

Even more than when I tripp’d lightly as they;

The innocent brightness of a new-born Day

Is lovely yet; 200

The clouds that gather round the setting sun

Do take a sober colouring from an eye

That hath kept watch o’er man’s mortality;

Another race hath been, and other palms are won.

Thanks to the human heart by which we live, 205

Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears,

To me the meanest flower that blows can give

Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.

    • What role does nature play in human life?
      • It is life!
      • Nature is God!
      • It is something to worship.
    • His role in society?
      • Man speaking to man
      • regular guy just with more insight
      • Poet is prophet that holds the world together.
      • Imaginations & memories?
        • Memories of imaginative childhood is a spiritual release for adults.
        • Memories are also called a storehouse of memories.
        • Imagination and memories are a way to get a glimpse of the ideal.
    • Ideal has something to do with the perfect balance between the emotional and the rational
      • like the force in star wars
        • The Jedi are in the ideal.
      • harmony and joy of living
        • harmony of all living things and joy of living with it
      • Blake said we all fell down a long time ago and when you are born, you are born in the real.
        • Wordsworth says we are part of the ideal before we are born and gradually fall into the real, and then we spend the rest of our lives trying to get back
        • why do we fall?
          • And how do we get back?
          • All romantics try to answer these two questions.
    • “there was a time” when he was a kid he was in the ideal, but he is no longer there
      • i.e. – Christmas
        • Once you stop believing in Santa Claus the magic is gone.
    • stanza 2
      • Nature hasn’t changed, but his perceptions of nature has changed.
    • stanza 3
      • Now he’s sad.
    • stanza 4
      • talking to kids
      • line 51
        • But, something is missing something’s been lost.
    • stanza 5
      • This is the what happened stanza.
      • The boy is attuned with the ideal.
    • stanza 6
      • Why does it happen?
        • There’s good stuff in the earth that distract us.
        • Earth distracts us.
        • Earth is in the real.
    • stanza 7
      • example
        • Kids imagine being grown up.
        • He is playing grown up,
    • stanza 8
      • Kid is still innocent, still close to the ideal.
      • Why are you trying so hard to get to the real?
        • You are going to get to the real soon enough.
    • stanza 9
      • Wordsworth says we can’t get back to the ideal.
      • There are things we can do to be happy.
      • Storehouse of memory
    • stanza 10
      • So what if we can’t get back?
      • but we won’t grieve
    • stanza 11
      • I still love nature.
      • The smallest things can trigger a memory.
      • Nature is one way to get us closer to the ideal.
      • Nothing is ugly in Wordsworth’s poetry
      • Everything is sweet.


Samuel Taylor Coleridge

  • He and Wordsworth were best friends.
  • He was not raised in the country, he was raised in London.
    • City upbringing is why he cannot connect with the ideal.
  • Idealistic
    • in college
    • He wants to set up a utopia in Pennsylvania.
    • Pantisocracy – “utopian scheme devised in 1794 by the poets Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey for an egalitarian community”
  • He engaged Sara Fricker and plan fell apart.
    • He could not get out of the engagement so he married out of obligation, not love.
  • Coleridge fell in love with Sarah Hutchison.
  • Sonnets
    • All romantics are writing sonnets and had been out of style for over 200 years.
      • They did this because they wanted to get back to the mystical.
      • They are all about love.
      • Emotional
      • They revive the sonnet as an art form.
  • He had a drug addiction.
    • opium
      • doctor written prescriptions
    • laudanum
      • which is opium with vodka
    • mixing drugs and alcohol – (Anyone would dream a freaky dream on that.)
  • Buried in poets’ corner in Westminster Abbey
  • More of a priest-like visionary
    • He is prophetic, but not god-like.
  • Sees God as a way to the ideal
  • How much power and control do people have?
    • We have no control.
  • Coleridge is the if only poet.
  • Nature was like a god to Wordsworth it was more of a symbol to Coleridge.
  • “The Eolian Harp”

composed at clevedon, somersetshire


My pensive Sara! thy soft cheek reclined

Thus on mine arm, most soothing sweet it is

To sit beside our Cot, our Cot o’ergrown

With white-flowered Jasmin, and the broad-leaved Myrtle,

(Meet emblems they of Innocence and Love!)

And watch the clouds, that late were rich with light,

Slow saddening round, and mark the star of eve

Serenely brilliant (such would Wisdom be)

Shine opposite! How exquisite the scents

Snatched from yon bean-field! and the world so hushed!

The stilly murmur of the distant Sea

Tells us of silence.


And that simplest Lute,

Placed length-ways in the clasping casement, hark!

How by the desultory breeze caressed,

Like some coy maid half yielding to her lover,

It pours such sweet upbraiding, as must needs

Tempt to repeat the wrong! And now, its strings

Boldlier swept, the long sequacious notes

Over delicious surges sink and rise,

Such a soft floating witchery of sound

As twilight Elfins make, when they at eve

Voyage on gentle gales from Fairy-Land,

Where Melodies round honey-dropping flowers,

Footless and wild, like birds of Paradise,

Nor pause, nor perch, hovering on untamed wing!

O! the one Life within us and abroad,

Which meets all motion and becomes its soul,

A light in sound, a sound-like power in light,

Rhythm in all thought, and joyance everywhere—

Methinks, it should have been impossible

Not to love all things in a world so filled;

Where the breeze warbles, and the mute still air

Is Music slumbering on her instrument.


And thus, my Love! as on the midway slope

Of yonder hill I stretch my limbs at noon,

Whilst through my half-closed eyelids I behold

The sunbeams dance, like diamonds, on the main,

And tranquil muse upon tranquility:

Full many a thought uncalled and undetained,

And many idle flitting phantasies,

Traverse my indolent and passive brain,

As wild and various as the random gales

That swell and flutter on this subject Lute!


And what if all of animated nature

Be but organic Harps diversely framed,

That tremble into thought, as o’er them sweeps

Plastic and vast, one intellectual breeze,

At once the Soul of each, and God of all?


But thy more serious eye a mild reproof

Darts, O beloved Woman! nor such thoughts

Dim and unhallowed dost thou not reject,

And biddest me walk humbly with my God.

Meek Daughter in the family of Christ!

Well hast thou said and holily dispraised

These shapings of the unregenerate mind;

Bubbles that glitter as they rise and break

On vain Philosophy’s aye-babbling spring.

For never guiltless may I speak of him,

The Incomprehensible! save when with awe

I praise him, and with Faith that inly feels;

Who with his saving mercies healèd me,

A sinful and most miserable man,

Wildered and dark, and gave me to possess

Peace, and this Cot, and thee, heart-honored Maid!

    • written to Sara Fricker
    • He gets up there for a glimpse, but something always happens to knock him back down.
    • An eolian harp is a box shaped instrument that you prop in the window that the wind blows through playing spontaneous music.
    • Romantics love it because it is spontaneous.
    • The wind does not play rational music.

    • Stanza 1
      • He is in the real.
      • He is sitting in nature.
      • Real imagery
    • Stanza 2
      • Now we are in the supernatural imagery.
      • He is trying to get out of the real into some ideal.
      • Line 39
        • He has become the eolian harp.
        • He is in tune with the ideal.
        • He is in tune with nature.
    • Stanza 4
      • Everything is in tune with everything else.
        • For a second, he sees we are all eolian harps.
        • The god of all is the ideal.
    • Stanza 5
      • His wife brings him down.
      • You should walk humbly with God.
      • He says, ‘yes dear,’ and ends up back where he started from.
  • “Kubla Kahn”

IN Xanadu did Kubla Khan

A stately pleasure-dome decree:

Where Alph, the sacred river, ran

Through caverns measureless to man

Down to a sunless sea.

So twice five miles of fertile ground

With walls and towers were girdled round:

And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills

Where blossom’d many an incense-bearing tree;

And here were forests ancient as the hills,

Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.


But O, that deep romantic chasm which slanted

Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!

A savage place! as holy and enchanted

As e’er beneath a waning moon was haunted

By woman wailing for her demon-lover!

And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,

As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,

A mighty fountain momently was forced;

Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst

Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,

Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher’s flail:

And ‘mid these dancing rocks at once and ever

It flung up momently the sacred river.

Five miles meandering with a mazy motion

Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,

Then reach’d the caverns measureless to man,

And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean:

And ‘mid this tumult Kubla heard from far

Ancestral voices prophesying war!


The shadow of the dome of pleasure

Floated midway on the waves;

Where was heard the mingled measure

From the fountain and the caves.

It was a miracle of rare device,

A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!


A damsel with a dulcimer

In a vision once I saw:

It was an Abyssinian maid,

And on her dulcimer she play’d,

Singing of Mount Abora.

Could I revive within me,

Her symphony and song,

To such a deep delight ‘twould win me,

That with music loud and long,

I would build that dome in air,

That sunny dome! those caves of ice!

And all who heard should see them there,

And all should cry, Beware! Beware!

His flashing eyes, his floating hair!

Weave a circle round him thrice,

And close your eyes with holy dread,

For he on honey-dew hath fed,

And drunk the milk of Paradise.

    • from reading about the king
    • Coleridge fell asleep and dreamed the poem.

    • Kubla Kahn
      • 2 settings connected by a river

    • Romantic
      • If the word is there it has significance.
      • Caverns are the ideal.
      • Pleasure dome is the real.
      • It is pleasant but not perfect.
    • Demon-lover
      • supernatural significance
      • ejaculation metaphor (lines 19-22)
        • builds then crashes
        • Kubla damsel builds then crashes at the end.
      • He puts the pleasure dome in the ideal.
      • He switches the pleasure dome to stir people up because it is unpredictable.

    • End
      • He is the poet prophet.
      • He is frightening like in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.
      • You cannot leave the real.
      • Like the drug addict’s big brother telling the little brother, “Don’t be like me. I am miserable.”
Advertisements