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

Songs of Experience

The Human Abstract

PITY would be no more

If we did not make somebody poor;

And Mercy no more could be

If all were as happy as we.

And mutual fear brings peace,

Till the selfish loves increase;

Then Cruelty knits a snare,

And spreads his baits with care.

He sits down with holy fears,

And waters the ground with tears;

Then Humility takes its root

Underneath his foot.

Soon spreads the dismal shade

Of Mystery over his head;

And the caterpillar and fly

Feed on the Mystery.

And it bears the fruit of Deceit,

Ruddy and sweet to eat;

And the raven his nest has made

In its thickest shade.

The Gods of the earth and sea

Sought thro’ Nature to find this tree;

But their search was all in vain:

There grows one in the Human brain.