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William Blake (1757–1827). The Poetical Works. 1908.

Songs of Experience

Earth’s Answer

EARTH rais’d up her head

From the darkness dread and 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 ploughman in darkness plough?

‘Break this heavy chain

That does freeze my bones around.

Selfish! vain!

Eternal bane!

That free Love with bondage bound.’