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

Songs of Experience


I WANDER thro’ each charter’d street,

Near where the charter’d Thames does flow,

And mark in every face I meet

Marks of weakness, marks of woe.

In every cry of every Man,

In every Infant’s cry of fear,

In every voice, in every ban,

The mind-forg’d manacles I hear.

How the chimney-sweeper’s cry

Every black’ning church appals;

And the hapless soldier’s sigh

Runs in blood down palace walls.

But most thro’ midnight streets I hear

How the youthful harlot’s curse

Blasts the new-born infant’s tear,

And blights with plagues the marriage hearse.