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

Songs of Experience

The Little Girl Found

ALL the night in woe

Lyca’s parents go

Over valleys deep,

While the deserts weep.

Tired and woe-begone,

Hoarse with making moan,

Arm in arm seven days

They trac’d the desert ways.

Seven nights they sleep

Among shadows deep,

And dream they see their child

Starv’d in desert wild.

Pale, thro’ pathless ways

The fancied image strays

Famish’d, weeping, weak,

With hollow piteous shriek.

Rising from unrest,

The trembling woman prest

With feet of weary woe:

She could no further go.

In his arms he bore

Her, arm’d with sorrow sore;

Till before their way

A couching lion lay.

Turning back was vain:

Soon his heavy mane

Bore them to the ground.

Then he stalk’d around,

Smelling to his prey;

But their fears allay

When he licks their hands,

And silent by them stands.

They look upon his eyes

Fill’d with deep surprise;

And wondering behold

A spirit arm’d in gold.

On his head a crown;

On his shoulders down

Flow’d his golden hair.

Gone was all their care.

‘Follow me,’ he said;

‘Weep not for the maid;

In my palace deep

Lyca lies asleep.’

Then they followèd

Where the vision led,

And saw their sleeping child

Among tigers wild.

To this day they dwell

In a lonely dell;

Nor fear the wolfish howl

Nor the lions’ growl.