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Nicholson & Lee, eds. The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse. 1917.

William Blake (1757–1827)

59. The Crystal Cabinet

THE MAIDEN caught me in the wild,

Where I was dancing merrily;

She put me into 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.