Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

Poems of William Blake

Poems of William Blake by William Blake
By:

Songs of Innocence and of Experience: Shewing the Two Contrary States of the Human Soul are two books of poetry by the English poet and painter, William Blake. Although Songs of Innocence was first published by itself in 1789, it is believed that Songs of Experience has always been published in conjunction with Innocence since its completion in 1794.

Songs of Innocence mainly consists of poems describing the innocence and joy of the natural world, advocating free love and a closer relationship with God, and most famously including Blake’s poem The Lamb. Its poems have a generally light, upbeat and pastoral feel and are typically written from the perspective of children or written about them.

Directly contrasting this, Songs of Experience instead deals with the loss of innocence after exposure to the material world and all of its mortal sin during adult life, including works such as The Tyger. Poems here are darker, concentrating on more political and serious themes. Throughout both books, many poems fall into pairs, so that a similar situation or theme can be seen in both Innocence and Experience. Many of the poems appearing in Songs of Innocence have a counterpart in Songs of Experience with opposing perspectives of the world. The disastrous end of the French Revolution caused Blake to lose faith in the goodness of mankind, explaining much of the volume’s sense of despair. Blake also believed that children lost their innocence through exploitation and from a religious community which put dogma before mercy. He did not, however, believe that children should be kept from becoming experienced entirely. In truth, he believed that children should indeed become experienced but through their own discoveries, which is reflected in a number of these poems. Blake believed that innocence and experience were “the two contrary states of the human soul”, and that true innocence was impossible without experience.

The Book of Thel is a poem by William Blake, dated 1789 and probably worked on in the period 1788 to 1790. It is illustrated by his own plates, and is relatively short and easy to understand, compared to his later prophetic books. The metre is a fourteen-syllable line. It was preceded by Tiriel, which Blake left in manuscript. A few lines from Tiriel were incorporated into The Book of Thel. This book consists of eight plates executed in illuminated printing. 15 copies of original print of 1789-1793 are known. Two copies have watermark of 1815, which are more elaborately colored than the others.

First Page:

Poems of William Blake

by

William Blake

SONGS OF INNOCENCE AND OF EXPERIENCE

and

THE BOOK of THEL

SONGS OF INNOCENCE

INTRODUCTION

Piping down the valleys wild, Piping songs of pleasant glee, On a cloud I saw a child, And he laughing said to me:

"Pipe a song about a Lamb!" So I piped with merry cheer. "Piper, pipe that song again;" So I piped: he wept to hear.

"Drop thy pipe, thy happy pipe; Sing thy songs of happy cheer!" So I sang the same again, While he wept with joy to hear.

"Piper, sit thee down and write In a book, that all may read." So he vanish'd from my sight; And I pluck'd a hollow reed,

And I made a rural pen, And I stain'd the water clear, And I wrote my happy songs Every child may joy to hear.

THE SHEPHERD

How sweet is the Shepherd's sweet lot! From the morn to the evening he stays; He shall follow his sheep all the day, And his tongue shall be filled with praise.

For he hears the lambs' innocent call, And he hears the ewes' tender reply; He is watching while they are in peace, For they know when their Shepherd is nigh... Continue reading book >>


Stream audiobook and download chapters




eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book (Rated: 3 Stars - 1 vote)



Popular Genres
More Genres
Languages
Paid Books