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

Dedication of the Designs to Blair’s ‘Grave’

William Blake (1757–1827)

To Queen Charlotte

THE DOOR of death is made of gold,

That mortal eyes cannot behold;

But, when the mortal eyes are clos’d,

And cold and pale the limbs repos’d,

The soul awakes; and, wond’ring, sees

In her mild hand the golden keys:

The grave is heaven’s golden gate,

And rich and poor around it wait;

O Shepherdess of England’s fold,

Behold this gate of pearl and gold!

To dedicate to England’s Queen

The visions that my soul has seen,

And, by Her kind permission, bring

What I have borne on solemn wing,

From the vast regions of the grave,

Before Her throne my wings I wave,

Bowing before my Sov’reign’s feet,

‘The Grave produc’d these blossoms sweet

In mild repose from earthly strife;

The blossoms of eternal life!’