Nurse's Song by William Blake




This is a great example of William Blake's expression of the dialectic process. There are two nurse's songs in Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience. Each one reveals the inner feelings of a nurse as she is watching over a group of her wards. Each poem is in contrast to the other and speaking through the other.


This is a shorter episode because these poems are both more on the surface. But they are valuable to understanding Blake's book as a whole.



NURSE’S SONG: Songs of Innocence When the voices of children are heard on the green And laughing is heard on the hill, My heart is at rest within my breast And everything else is still. “Then come home, my children, the sun is gone down And the dews of night arise; Come, come, leave off play, and let us away Till the morning appears in the skies.” “No, no, let us play, for it is yet day And we cannot go to sleep; Besides, in the sky the little birds fly And the hills are all cover'd with sheep.” “Well, well, go & play till the light fades away And then go home to bed.” The little ones leaped & shouted & laugh'd And all the hills echoed. NURSE’S SONG: Songs of Experience When the voices of children are heard on the green And whisperings are in the dale, The days of my youth rise fresh in my mind, My face turns green and pale. Then come home my children, the sun is gone down And the dews of night arise; Your spring & your day, are wasted in play And your winter and night in disguise.