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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Georgian Verse. 1909.

The Crystal Cabinet

William Blake (1757–1827)

THE MAIDEN caught me in the wild,

Where I was dancing merrily;

She put me in her cabinet,

And lock’d me up with a golden key.

This cabinet is form’d of gold

And pearl and crystal shining bright,

And within it opens into a world

And a little lovely moony night.

Another England there I saw,

Another London with its Tower,

Another Thames and other Hills

And another pleasant Surrey Bower,

Another maiden like herself,

Translucent, lovely, shining clear,

Threefold each in the other clos’d,—

O what a pleasant trembling fear!

O what a smile! a threefold smile

Fill’d me that like a flame I burn’d

I bent to kiss the lovely maid,

And found a threefold kiss return’d.

I strove to seize the inmost form

With ardour fierce and hands of flame,

But burst the Crystal Cabinet,

And like a weeping babe became—

A weeping babe upon the wild,

And weeping woman pale reclin’d,

And in the outward air again

I fill’d with woes the passing wind.