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  • Kirk Barbera

Night by William Blake





Night may be a time for partying in 2020, but two hundred years ago night represented terror and death.


Why should we consider the terrors of old? If we have conquered them all is there any value in living through that? One answer may be it can give us a better appreciation of what we have today.


In this poem we will explore a deep theme that runs throughout both the Songs of Innocence and the Songs of Experience. It will be important to read or listen to this poem before we read the songs of experience.



Night

by William Blake From: Songs of Innocence THE SUN descending in the west, The evening star does shine; The birds are silent in their nest, And I must seek for mine. The moon, like a flower, In heaven’s high bower, With silent delight Sits and smiles on the night. Farewell, green fields and happy groves, Where flocks have took delight. Where lambs have nibbled, silent moves The feet of angels bright; Unseen they pour blessing, And joy without ceasing, On each bud and blossom, And each sleeping bosom. They look in every thoughtless nest, Where birds are cover’d warm; They visit caves of every beast, To keep them all from harm. If they see any weeping That should have been sleeping, They pour sleep on their head, And sit down by their bed. When wolves and tigers howl for prey, They pitying stand and weep; Seeking to drive their thirst away, And keep them from the sheep. But if they rush dreadful, The angels, most heedful, Receive each mild spirit, New worlds to inherit. And there the lion’s ruddy eyes Shall flow with tears of gold, And pitying the tender cries, And walking round the fold, Saying ‘Wrath, by His meekness, And, by His health, sickness Is driven away From our immortal day. ‘And now beside thee, bleating lamb, I can lie down and sleep; Or think on Him who bore thy name, Graze after thee and weep. For, wash’d in life’s river, My bright mane for ever Shall shine like the gold As I guard o’er the fold.’