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

Poems from the Rossetti MS.: Earlier Poems


‘LET the brothels of Paris be openèd

With many an alluring dance,

To awake the physicians thro’ the city!’

Said the beautiful Queen of France.

The King awoke on his couch of gold,

As soon as he heard these tidings told:

‘Arise and come, both fife and drum,

And the famine shall eat both crust and crumb.’

The Queen of France just touch’d this globe,

And the pestilence darted from her robe;

But our good Queen quite grows to the ground,

And a great many suckers grow all around.

Fayette beside King Lewis stood;

He saw him sign his hand;

And soon he saw the famine rage

About the fruitful land.

Fayette beheld the Queen to smile

And wink her lovely eye;

And soon he saw the pestilence

From street to street to fly.

Fayette beheld the King and Queen

In curses and iron bound;

But mute Fayette wept tear for tear,

And guarded them around.

Fayette, Fayette, thou’rt bought and sold

And sold is thy happy morrow;

Thou gavest the tears of pity away

In exchange for the tears of sorrow.

Who will exchange his own fireside

For the stone of another’s door?

Who will exchange his wheaten loaf

For the links of a dungeon-floor?

O who would smile on the wintry seas

And pity the stormy roar?

Or who will exchange his new-born child

For the dog at the wintry door?