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Songs of Experience 'Introduction' and 'Earth's Answer' By William Blake

In the introduction to Song's of Experience we hear the classic invocation poem from a Bard to Mother Earth. In our second poem "Earth's Answer" we hear, well, Earth's Answer.

While these poems have a more carefully wrought rhythm and meter than many of the Songs of Innocence, they are also much more vague. They are vague and obscure if read isolated. However, if read within the context of the entirety of Songs of Experience, they begin to take shape and form a unique 18th century meaning.


Introduction to the Songs of Experience BY WILLIAM BLAKE Hear the voice of the Bard! Who Present, Past, & Future sees Whose ears have heard, The Holy Word, That walk'd among the ancient trees. Calling the lapsed Soul And weeping in the evening dew: That might controll, The starry pole; And fallen fallen light renew! O Earth O Earth return! Arise from out the dewy grass; Night is worn, And the morn Rises from the slumberous mass. Turn away no more: Why wilt thou turn away The starry floor The watry shore Is giv'n thee till the break of day. Earth's Answer BY WILLIAM BLAKE Earth rais'd up her head, From the darkness dread & drear. Her light fled: Stony dread! And her locks cover'd with grey despair. Prison'd on watry shore Starry Jealousy does keep my den Cold and hoar Weeping o'er I hear the Father of the ancient men Selfish father of men Cruel, jealous, selfish fear Can delight Chain'd in night The virgins of youth and morning bear. Does spring hide its joy When buds and blossoms grow? Does the sower? Sow by night? Or the plowman in darkness plow? Break this heavy chain, That does freeze my bones around Selfish! vain! Eternal bane! That free Love with bondage bound.


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