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

Poems from the Rossetti MS.: Earlier Poems

I heard an Angel singing

I HEARD an Angel singing

When the day was springing:

‘Mercy, Pity, Peace

Is the world’s release.’

Thus he sang all day

Over the new-mown hay,

Till the sun went down,

And haycocks lookèd brown.

I heard a Devil curse

Over the heath and the furze:

‘Mercy could be no more

If there was nobody poor,

‘And Pity no more could be,

If all were as happy as we.’

At his curse the sun went down,

And the heavens gave a frown.

[Down pour’d the heavy rain

Over the new reap’d grain;

And Misery’s increase

Is Mercy, Pity, Peace.]