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

Songs of Experience

The Little Girl Lost

IN futurity

I prophetic see

That the earth from sleep

(Grave the sentence deep)

Shall arise and seek

For her Maker meek;

And the desert wild

Become a garden mild.

In the southern clime,

Where the summer’s prime

Never fades away,

Lovely Lyca lay.

Seven summers old

Lovely Lyca told;

She had wander’d long

Hearing wild birds’ song.

‘Sweet sleep, come to me

Underneath this tree.

Do father, mother, weep?

Where can Lyca sleep?

‘Lost in desert wild

Is your little child.

How can Lyca sleep

If her mother weep?

‘If her heart does ache

Then let Lyca wake;

If my mother sleep,

Lyca shall not weep.

‘Frowning, frowning night,

O’er this desert bright,

Let thy moon arise

While I close my eyes.’

Sleeping Lyca lay

While the beasts of prey,

Come from caverns deep,

View’d the maid asleep.

The kingly lion stood,

And the virgin view’d,

Then he gamboll’d round

O’er the hallow’d ground.

Leopards, tigers, play

Round her as she lay,

While the lion old

Bow’d his mane of gold

And her bosom lick,

And upon her neck

From his eyes of flame

Ruby tears there came;

While the lioness

Loos’d her slender dress,

And naked they convey’d

To caves the sleeping maid.